If you got a chance to relive your past, what would you do differently? Baar baar dekho is built around this concept. It is one of those rare Hindi movies which gets better in the second half. I guess it is the nature of the story that shuttles back and forth between the present, past and the future that makes the Director take a while to warm up to the theme of a man being able to see glimpses of his future and go back and tinker with it in the past.
I don't see trailers or read about any movie before I see it so it took me a while to understand what was going on. Diya and Jay are childhood sweethearts. On the eve of their wedding he gets cold feet and wants to back out. He falls asleep in a drunken stupor after a fight with DIa and when he wakes up, ten days have gone past with him having no recollection of what has happened. The next time he sleeps and wakes up two years have passed. It took the third waking up for me to figure out that he was fast forwarding into the future each time he woke up. By that time, it was the interval.
By now, I had understood the concept and could get into the thick of the movie. The Director also now seemed comfortable with the material and the story moved on to the dramatic parts pretty well. A few of the flash forwards are slow and drag the pace down but overall the second half is quite absorbing. The future looks pretty cool in the movie though I doubt Twitter still rules in 2034 as Jay's son seems to think. Katrina in grey hair is funny though Jay ages pretty ok.
Of course, the story is very simplistic and the solution pretty much facile but this not a Richard Linklater movie that will span an entire life to arrive at a solution and we have to be happy with byte sized fast-food type solutions to problems that took years to build up. Having so many songs, even though they are good, is a bit uncalled for since they just slow down the proceedings.
Sidharth Malhotra does a good job of the man who travels between his past and his future. He has a vulnerability that suits the role quite well though he could have toned down the wide eyed 'main kahaan' look every time he wakes up. But he is easy on the eye and sincere and that sees him through. Katrina is charming and fresh. Thankfully she is not dolled up and glamourized and that helps her a lot. The role demands some bit of acting from her in certain scenes and she comes through. Lets not write her off yet. Ram Kapoor and Sarika in small roles add colour to the movie.
Towards the end, the film gets a bit preachy in its rush to reach a conclusion. The message (almost a moral) sounds like a proverb when dished out by Jay's Maths guru. However, the concept is different and the way it is handled is quite interesting even with the slow pace. I have a feeling it will appeal more to older people who have lived a life than to the younger set which is still idealistic and brimming with positivity.
Life is never as simple nor solutions as pat as this story makes it out to be but then movies exist to give you hope. This one may make you embark on the dangerous exercise of wondering about your life. My take? Be kind, even though you can't rewind.