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Dobaaraa review: This Taapsee Pannu-starrer never feels like an Anurag Kashyap film

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Dobaaraa movie review: The Taapsee Pannu-starrer comes off too choppy and muddled. It’s hard to keep track of the many things happening in the time zones the movie slips in and out of.

Dobaaraa movie reviewDobaaraa has hit screens across India.

‘Dobaara’ can mean more than one thing. Anurag Kashyap’s latest film plays with meaning. The Hindi word for ‘again’ is also used as ‘do barah’, the time on a cracked wrist-watch which has stopped at 2.12, twelve minutes past two. The time-travel mystery, an official remake of 2018 Spanish film ‘Mirage’, also plays with our heads. Is it possible to go back in time, and change things around? Can multiple versions of us exist, at the same time, in parallel universes?

A family moves into a Pune house, and in the process of settling in, discovers an old TV set-and- camcorder, which crackles to life during a massive storm. As thunder and lightning crackles across the sky, accompanying torrential rain, old secrets come tumbling out. Turns out that the house has a dark past: thirty years back, a little boy and his architect mum who lived there were witness to what appeared to be a horrible crime in the house next door, leading to a tragedy.

Found-footage, visitations from the past, rocky marriages, and the leading character Antara (Taapsee Pannu), ricocheting between the past and present : the set-up is briskly got out of the way, and we are all set for some thrills and chills. Anay, the boy-from-the-past has people who remember him in the present, and his memories of an unresolved crime lie at the heart of the puzzle Antara finds herself embroiled in: who is she really, a nurse at the local hospital with a dodgy husband (Rahul Bhat) and a pretty daughter, or an exceptionally talented doctor whose mentor (Nassar), is proud of her? Does the handsome inspector (Pavail Gulati) who tends to show up wherever Antara is, know more than he lets on? And how will she find her way back from that infernal loop?

Some puzzles draw you in with their smartness and intricacy. I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t comment on how ‘Mirage’ meshes its many strands, but ‘Dobaara’ comes off too choppy and muddled. As a result, it’s hard to keep track of the many things happening in the time zones the movie slips in and out of ; the sketchily-drawn characters keep going off on tangents, the intrigue goes missing, and the film flattens. And you can see the big reveal coming a mile off.

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The biggest puzzle is that ‘Dobaara’ never feels like an Anurag Kashyap film. His trajectory may have been uneven, but never, at any point, did any of his films not feel like his films, complete with his very specific authorial stamp. Where is that AK? I want him back ‘dobaara’.

Dobaaraa movie cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Rahul Bhat, Saswata Chatterjee, Himanshi Chaudhry, Nassar
Dobaaraa movie director: Anurag Kashyap
Dobaaraa movie rating: 1.5 stars

First published on: 18-08-2022 at 17:53 IST
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