The description for the 2022 drama ‘Dobaaraa’ made me expect something along the lines of the 2020 Korean thriller ‘The Call’, where two women from different timelines are able to communicate with each other. However, the Taapsee Pannu starrer is an official remake of the 2018 Spanish film “Mirage”, where her character connects with a boy from the past through an old television.
Directed by Anurag Kashyap and written by Nihit Bhave, ‘Dobaaraa’ might not be nail-biting, but has enough events unfolding to keep things interesting until the end. Set in 2021, Taapsee plays Antara Awasthi, a nurse who has just moved to a new house with her husband and daughter. The family finds an old television connected to a video-camera, and in a freaky turn of events, Antara finds herself talking to Anay, the son of the previous owner who is also in the same room but in 1996. Aware that Anay died in a road accident the same year after witnessing a murder, Antara tries to save the boy, without realizing how changing the past can change the future too and have implications on her present life.
Just like Taapsee’s ‘Looop Lapeta’, Dobaara also plays with time, but is better spun and a lot more gripping. There are a lot of ‘too convenient to be realistic’ plot points through the story which seem ridiculous and annoying at first, but most of those loose threads are tied up in climactic explanation. For example, when Antara realizes her current timeline has been drastically affected by her interference with the past, she teams up with a rather suspiciously accommodating police officer named Anand (Pavail Gulati). Despite limited screen-time together, Taapsee and Pavail Gulati have palpable chemistry and might make for a good lead in a romantic drama.
The film has a very domestic touch to it, since almost all characters are familiar with each other, so it’s like a big family thriller. And with the timeline constantly flitting between the 1990s and 2021, viewers have to keep their attention glued to the screen, lest they get confused with what’s happening when. The 90s timeline is very nostalgic, the makers do a pretty great job in creating the pre-internet era, with actors who perfectly blend into the timeline.
It’s a 6/10 from me. You can stream it on Netflix.
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