The film of the week is Anurag Kashyap’s Dobaaraa, starring the amazing Taapsee Pannu in the lead. Kashyap has been a director who takes forward his own stories and thoughts, so the fact that he is making a remake really made me curious as to what could have been so appealing about the story. The film is the official remake of a Spanish film called Mirage, which (thankfully) I had not watched and therefore went for Dobaaraa with a clear mind. And boy, the film turned out to be really engaging!
Taapsee Pannu plays the character of Antara, a nurse who moves to a new town with her husband and six-year-old daughter. The house they are in currently belonged to a boy, Anay, and his mother. However, there was an unfortunate incident, that changed this. But somehow, a time portal was unintentionally opened, that of course changed realities, and left Antara looking for answers and totally confused. But will she be able to find her answer, and reverse the disturbance in the time space continuum to get back to what she knows as her ‘reality’? Well, you will have to watch the film to know.
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Thrillers are a difficult genre, because one word more and there could be a major spoiler being given out. To maintain a taut thriller isn’t an easy task, and here Kashyap also has to go back and forth in time. He moves between 1996 and 2021. It is playing with fire, because one mistake and the entire experience can be marred. However, Kashyap proves his talent and effortlessly carries out the flashback sequences, with a hint of sepia tone of course in those. Also, the topic is such that it can, very easily, get complicated. Kashyap keeps the take simplified, and engaging at the same time. He is at his best, proving to be the masterful craftsman that he is.
The film is a Taapsee Pannu movie throughout. While there are other actors who are playing very important characters like Pavail Gulti, Rahul Bhatt, and the so effortless and brilliant Saswata Chatterjee, Pannu has to do all the heavy lifting. She plays the character whose reality has been altered and she is on a quest to find answers. Taapsee plays the part with ease and spontaneity. She shows no strain in playing Antara, and gets into her skin. She has also become sort of a regular in films that are about time disruption. Be it Game Over, or the Netflix release Looop Lapeta, Taapsee is experimenting and doing so beautifully!
It has also often been said that Pannu’s acting has gotten monotonous. However, in a character where she plays a regular girl, there is hardly any scope to go beyond and do something. In fact, trying to go beyond might more often than not backfire. Taapsee doesn’t take a different route, but betters the regular.
Pavail Gulati plays the police officer helping Taapsee in finding her reality. He is good, but doesn’t have much to showcase. Rahul Bhatt proves to be excellent even in the short role that he has. Saswata Chatterjee is the veteran here, and undoubtedly gives the best performance. How we wish we can see more of him on screen, and more often, beyond Bengali films.
The background score gets loud at some parts, kind of overpowering the narrative. The film also gets unintentionally funny in parts, and the one question that is still perplexing me is why on earth did no one lock their doors in this film?!
Dobaaraa is a mad and whacky tale. It has the good ingredients of Looop Lapeta, and is edge-of-the seat as a thriller. The film keeps you hooked, and thoroughly engaged, even with the constant back and forth in time. This one is a good watch in theatres, so do not miss out on it!
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