London Indian Film Festival 2022
Gaurav Bose, Ektaa Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Sunir Kheterpal
Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati
Rare and terrifying, geomagnetic storms wreak havoc on communication technology—and maybe even the fabric of reality. In 1996, 12-year-old Anay makes a video for his absent father as just such a storm rolls in. He’s distracted by a commotion next door, and his curiosity has deadly consequences. A quarter-century later, Antara and her family move into the house where Anay and his mother lived. The tragic history of the place only adds to Antara’s unease as she struggles with a failing marriage. One sleepless night, as an ominous thunderstorm again brews in the sky outside, she toys with the old video camera and TV set collecting dust in a corner. What she sees is Anay’s recording from the past—until it isn’t. Because he sees her too, and to her alarm, he’s mere moments from his doom. Her pleading saves Anay’s life back then—but what has she done to her own right now?
Jolts of high-voltage tension crackle along the lines between past and present, right and wrong, science and the supernatural in DOBAARAA, the time-twisting new thriller from Anurag Kashyap. The award-winning Indian director, producer, and screenwriter has ventured into many genres over his celebrated career—sports dramas, comedies light and dark, romance, even animation. It’s his no-nonsense approach to the crime-suspense genre that’s most noted by international audiences, thanks to gritty numbers like UGLY, India’s first Netflix Original series SACRED GAMES, and of course the sprawling gangster epic GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. The absorbing, convincing DOBAARAA jumpstarts the thrills with a twist of science fiction, but the high-stakes drama keeps its feet on firm ground, staked in place by the gripping, driven lead performance from Taapsee Pannu, seen in GAME OVER, NAAM SHABANA, and opposite Amitabh Bachchan in BADLA. – Rupert Bottenberg
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