Producers: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta R. Kapoor, Sunir Khetarpal and Gaurav Bose
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Rahul Bhat, Pavail Gulati, Saswata Chatterji, Pankaj Rajput,
Released in theatres.
By Jyothi Venkatesh
At the outset, with all its edge-of-the-seat thunder and a story that constantly asks the audience to keep wondering what is happening on the screen and set them to think, looks more of a Netflix drama than a heart-warming theatrical experience. Do Baaraa is definitely a true intense drama with nail-biting twists, but sadly it is the kind of an intriguing film that Anurag seems to be catering to the audience he has lovingly nurtured on OTT, and not at all the one who awaits the big screen experience. It is in the vein of his earlier abstract films like say Paanch, No Smoking etc.
The official remake of the Spanish film Mirage, Do Baaraa is set in Pune and oscillates between the mid-1990s and the current times. The chain of events sets in with 12-year-old Anay (Pankaj Rajput) getting bumped off by a heavy vehicle while trying to escape from his neighbour’s (Saswata Chatterjee) house after witnessing him killing his wife. Antara (Taapsee Pannu) plans to divorce her cheating husband only to lead a happy life with her daughter Avanti. They move to a house which has a bad history — the school-going boy Anay was killed after he witnesses the murder.
Twenty-five years later, Antara (Taapsee), a nurse at a local hospital, moves into Anay’s house as its new owner with her husband. On a stormy night, identical to the one on which Anay died, Antara, who is surprisingly aware of Anay’s death, finds herself communicating with Anay through an old TV set and a video cassette. And in the riveting process, Antara accidentally sets in motion a chain of bizarre events that changes her reality.
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As far as performances in the film go, Tapsee Pannu stands out with her memorable portrayal as Antara and emotes with a sense of total commitment to her character which is very complex and at times not understandable at all while Pavail Gulati, after Thappad, gives a reasonable account of himself as a good performer. Rahul Bhat, as Tapsee’s straying husband has been wasted with his own separate track with his mistress, which does not at all add to the track whereas the child prodigy Pankaj Rajput simply scores with his intensity and steals the scene. Saswata Chatterji fails to impress.
On the whole, to sum up, I’d say that the film is neither a time machine related film nor a racy whodunit because it makes you wonder what is happening even if your attention is diverted by a second by your phone call when you are watching the film, especially as it lacks a tangible plot and also confuses you a lot when you try to connect the missing dots. The editing by Aarti Bajaj also leaves a lot to be desired as the film is also cluttered by songs when you least expect them thus diluting the whatever little impact you have with the plot, making you wonder whether Anurag is losing his master touch as well as magic.