A strange guy follows a girl home, and though she pretends to be annoyed, she has in him her bed on day two. Stalkers rejoice! The instant romance between Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Saira (Kriti Sanon) in Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta is so dull, their past life connection cannot possibly rescue it. (No spoiler here, it was advertised as a reincarnation story.)
The filmmaker had the budget to shoot in Budapest (and Mauritius), so the viewer gets a touristy look at the beautiful city, where Shiv has exported himself along with best buddy Radha (Varun Sharma); Saira has a swanky chocolate shop, where Shiv spots her when he comes in with his latest conquest. Yes, he sees women - particularly white women - as use-and-throw commodities, and is quite proud of it. She talks to her mirror, has nightmares and is terrified of water.
Like a perfect cad, Shiv crashes Saira’s date, makes her dump her boyfriend, and decides she’s the one to take home to “Bebe” in Punjab. But to be sure of their feelings, they separate for a week, while he is off for a conference, and what do you know, ditzy Saira is swept off her feet by the rich Zakir (Jim Sarbh), who speaks with a peculiar (South Mumbai) accent and says lines like, “Is gaadi mein tumhari duvidha ke liye jagah hai.”
Zakir is a psycho because he remembers the past life love triangle, where all the characters — with Rajkummar Rao in layers of old-man make-up added in — wore bizarre tribal outfits and jewellery belonging to god knows which era and which part of the country; Sushant Singh Rajput’s hairdo is a marvel of styling with what look like bootlaces!
Neither is the past love story exciting, nor is the contemporary romance engaging. Sushant’s efforts to be ‘cute’ are grating and Kriti hasn’t quite mastered acting yet. Sarbh is miscast, and has as much menace as Dennis. Some old reincarnation films packed an emotional wallop and had the audiences root for the lead pair’s janam-janam ka pyar; this one just doubles the tedium.