A schoolboy who passed away in 1996 and a lady who comes into the home the former shared with his mother in 2021 communicate through an electrical storm that is identical in size and nature to another that happened a quarter-century earlier. Dobaaraa, a well directed and well-acted time-loop thriller, is built around that intriguing notion.The mindbender, directed by Anurag Kashyap and written by Nihit Bhave, is an adaptation of a 2018 Spanish murder mystery. In order to create a playful head-scratcher that lives on a complicated, though not very profound, intertwining of timelines and realms of existence, the latter draws on some of his filmmaking style’s major components and restrains others.
The cleverly lensed Dobaaraa is consistently interesting and compelling even when it isn’t electrifying. It combines the effects of a broken space-time continuum with the much simpler rules of a crime thriller. Even when things aren’t always easy, Anurag Kashyap gets a lot of things right. The director takes the storyline from Oriol Paulo’s Adriana Ugarte and Alvaro Morte starrer Mirage and teases an entirely new beast out of it by using deft techniques and relying on Taapsee Pannu for a key role.
Dobaaraa, which is set in a suburb of Pune, largely follows the plot of Mirage but deviates significantly from it. In Kashyap’s colourful adaptation, which is informed with style, vigour, and an unique directorial imprimatur, people are pitted against one another in puzzling mind games amid a rainstorm of terrifyingly disruptive proportions. Dobaaraa, which has strong atmospherics and notable support from Sylvester Fonseca’s photography, relies more on continuous fascination than it does on fear. It is a clever reworking that captures the audience’s interest right away and commands rapt attention. It foxes and fascinates in turn with its fluid juggling of time, space, and reality. It is sprightly, fashionable, and quick on its feet.