Anurag Kashyap’s Dobaaraa featuring Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati is an official remake of the 2018 Spanish film ‘Mirage’. The film could find a slot in the time travel zone or going by the last scene, it could be a ‘Baar Baar Dekho Returns’. This time around Anurag Kashyap has dabbled with the latest global fad with the term ‘multiverse’ or ‘parallel universe’ or still a ‘time travel’ of sorts. It seems Taapsee is also got into a time loop what with Looop Lapeta and now this.
Dobaaraa is this multi-temporal film, even the title has layered implications; Dobaaraa means ‘again’ as also ‘Do (2) Baaraa (12)’, which is important to the premise, with characters simultaneously existing in parallel universes and manipulating events in the past to alter the future.
Anurag seems to have retained the basic (Mirage) plot and adapted it to the Indian mindset, who may not be too comfortable with the idea of a parallel universe!! However, Dobaaraa could spell surprise for the Hindi movie watching audience with a concept that is not very popular but with the exposure to huge amount of global content, people might just feel comfortable or rather not find it difficult to digest. Fortunately, there is no unnecessary interference of any romance or song and dance breaks, which at least keeps the audiences’ interest intact.
Dobaaraa begins with a night of thunderstorm. Taapsee Pannu and Rahul Bhat have just moved in their new abode with their 6-year daughter. There are also talks of them heading for a separation but are holding on for some time for the sake of their daughter. Taapsee, while exploring the house comes across an old TV set.
She seemingly saves the life of a 12-year-old boy who has witnessed a death/murder during the thunderstorm which happened 25 years ago, by getting connected through the old TV set during a similar storm in the present. The next morning Taapsee Pannu and her daughter set out to the swimming pool and she ‘wakes up’ to a whole new setting, her life has changed!
She goes to the swimming pool to fetch her daughter but is told that there is no child registered by the name. From here on starts her chase to find her daughter. She involves the police, who in turn conclude that there is no child registered with that name across the district. Taapsee moves from one place to another in search of her daughter, but it is revealed that she herself is out of sync of the goings on. Nothing seems to be what Taapsee is looking for including her ‘actual’ identity.
Taapsee Pannu is also associated with a hospital and has great respect for a senior doctor who listens to her plight and tries to help her, ditto to the police officer she has involved. What follows is between Taapsee Pannu and the police officer to find out the truth. Can she find her daughter, who is she and what is the murder all about forms the rest of the narrative. A stage for an interesting thriller plot where the audience must patiently follow the story unfold. There are known characters but with different identities and situations.
For people who love the thriller, mystery genre might like the plot that builds the curiosity to know who-is-who and is there at all a different angle to it. Other than the time travel, the murder angle adds to the already tensed plot of the missing child. However, the revelation at the end could be a dampener and fizzle off the intensity of the plot, a la ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ (as mentioned in the beginning).
Taapsee Pannu gets into the skin of the character and does justice. She helps instil the belief into the character. Pavail Gulati and Rahul Bhat get limited scope to play with their characters, however, they fit and justify their roles.
Saswata Chatterjee – the ‘Kahaani’ fame ‘Bob Biswas’, brings the required intrigue with his character and helps elevate the narrative with his acting capabilities.
The rest of the cast perform as per the vision of the helmer.
The background score by Shor Police is interesting adds to the eerie atmosphere as also helps in navigating through the plot. Editing by Aarti Bajaj is crisp and tightens the already confusing plot.
All in all, Dobaaraa is not a film without flaws. Also, Anurag Kashyap’s attempt with sci-fi / time travel based Dobaaraa may not be worth an encore but could be a welcome break from the Bollywood content dished out in the recent past.
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Nassar, Rahul Bhat, Himanshi Choudhry, Saswata Chatterjee, Sukant Goel, Medini Kelamane, Madhurima Roy, Nidhi Singh, Myra Rajpal, Arrian Sawant, Shaurya Duggal, Farida Venkat
Duration: 132 Mins