I heard someone say that this was like The Time Traveller's Wife, but know that it is not. Yes, there is time-travel in this Bollywood film - the mind boggles - but it is inserted in here in a very desi fashion; there is a moral to the story.
Jai Verma (Malhotra) and Diya Kapoor (Kaif) are childhood friends turned sweethearts. They do the expected thing and get hitched, more on her insistence than on his. When he, overwhelmed with the wedding festivities and the ultra-protective Punjabi Papa, threatens a break-up pre-wedding ceremony, she storms off in a huff. Is this the start to a rocky relationship, husband-wifely though it may be?
Post-tiff, we hop, skip and jump through time with Jai, who has an uncanny, uncontrollable knack for time-travel. Along the way, he relates actions to consequences - the question is: will he be able to fix the life problems he can now foresee?
Director Mehra does a pretty decent job with this ambitious project, because this film does move around quite a bit, timewise - so keeping it straight and all tied together and flowing smoothly is an accomplishment in itself. There are a few hiccups, like the long, stretchy, overdone scenes pre-interval where the film almost stood still. But then there were also some beautiful, heart-string-pulling scenes like the one where Jai, in the midst of a chaotic morning, finally gives in to his little daughter who's tugging at his pant-leg wanting to be picked up. The camera lingers over the happy father-daughter smiling beatifically at each other as the morning sun streams in. Very nicely done; I teared up bigtime.
The big flaw in the film is the acting, or lack thereof. Kaif and Malhotra are probably the most attractive specimens in the Hindi film industry, but they can't act, she more than he. While Kaif's performance in this film is probably one of her best, she is still atrocious at actually emoting. Plus, even when apparently in the thick of it, she gives off this Ice-Maidenly, detached vibe. Malhotra has gotten better, and while passable here, can't get us to care about him as much as we should. Since the film is really about the romance, the unbreakable bond between the two, it was imperative that we feel their chemistry. Sadly, we don't.
Mehra has tried to compensate with a strong supporting cast - Sarika, Rajit and Ram Kapoor, but it doesn't quite suffice; they are called "supporting" for a reason. The songs are pretty nice - loved "Kho Gaye Hum Kahan".
Baar Baar Dekho started off with such a whiff of freshness that I had high hopes. It is a pleasant watch, but with a Anushka or Deepika instead this film would have been a class apart.