‘DOBAARAA’ REVIEW | 19 August, 2022

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Cult Movies, Athena and Vermillion World Production’s Dobaaraa (UA) is a mystery drama. Remake of Spanish film Mirage, it is the story of a woman who gets an opportunity to save the life of a 12-year-old boy who had witnessed a death in the neighbourhood during a thunderstorm which happened 25 years ago. The lady establishes a connection with the boy through his television set, during a similar thunderstorm in the present.

The original film was written by Oriol Paulo. The screenplay of the adapted Hindi version has been penned by Nihit Bhave. The story and screenplay are novel for the Hindi film-going audience. However, since the audience gets to watch the drama unfold in two different universes — one of 25 years ago, and the other of the present times — it does get confusing at several times as the viewers struggle to comprehend whether the time period is current or past. The class audience would, therefore, understand the drama better than the masses. Among the masses, there will be a section which may find it too difficult to understand even the concept. Besides, since the concept is actually unbelievable, there are questions which have not been answered by the writer, probably because it is impossible to address those questions.

A good thing about the screenplay is that it is fast-paced and hence does not give the audience time to think. There are a number of twists and turns in the drama, all of which keep the viewers involved. The thread of screenplay is rather engaging because of which the audience gets involved in the guessing game. The revelation of the suspense is interesting. Also, there are some scenes which shock the viewers. Nihit Bhave’s dialogues are simple, yet appealing.

Taapsee Pannu does a fine job in the role of Antara. She conveys the character’s emotions of fear, anxiety, excitement, confusion, etc. beautifully to the audience through her mature performance. Pavail Gulati delivers a lovely performance as Anand. Nasser Mahaboob lends decent support as Dr. Sethupathi. Saswata Chatterjee is splendid as Raja. Rahul Bhat is extremely natural in the role of Vikas. Sukant Goel makes his presence amply felt in the role of Abhishek. Vidushi Mehra (as Mummy/Shikha Vats) stands her own. Himanshi Choudhary has her moments as Sheela. Medini Kelamane makes an impressive mark in the role of Rujuta. Aarrian Sawant acts ably as Anay. Myra Rajpal is good as Avanti. Shaurya Duggal is adequate as young Abhishek. Others are alright.

Anurag Kashyap’s direction is mature and in synch with the film’s subject. How one wishes, he had used a differentiating factor while presenting the two universes. This would’ve increased the film’s appeal. Shor Police and Gaurav Chatterji’s music is okay. Lyrics (Hussain Haidry) are alright. Shor Police’s background music is impactful. It enhances the drama. Sylvester Fonseca’s cinematography is very nice. Amritpal Singh’s action and stunt scenes are thrilling. Urvi Ashar and Shipra Rawal’s production designing is of a fine standard. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is very sharp. If in spite of being confusing, the film does not get boring at any point of time, it is largely due to Aarti’s intelligent editing.

On the whole, Dobaaraa is a very novel film with only limited class appeal. It would be liked by just the city audiences who frequent high-end multiplexes. Masses would not relate to the drama at all. Nevertheless, it is a bold and different attempt — and a well-made one at that.

Released on 19-8-’22 at at Inox (daily 5 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru PEN Marudhar Cine Entertainment. Publicity: so-so. Opening: below the mark. …….Also released all over. Opening was very dull everywhere.