Usually, an actor’s performance gets noticed when the film he or she features in does well. Unfortunately, most of the times people do not see the different elements of a film in isolation and if they do not warm up to a film in general, they do not speak too highly of the efforts put in by the actors, director or members of the technical crew. There have been countless instances of an actor putting his or her heart and soul into portraying a very challenging part and it largely going unnoticed because of the film not living up to expectations.
On 18 August, 2017, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ released in the theatres. The film went on to become a critical and commercial success and Kriti Sanon, the lead actress of the film, received a lot of appreciation for her portrayal of a feisty young woman living in a small city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Just around a month back, Kriti was seen in a film called ‘Raabta’ which was mounted on a much bigger scale than ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and being a reincarnation saga that had two timelines to it, it was high on ambition.
I remember watching ‘Raabta’ on the first day of its release and while the film had some interesting moments, more particularly in the second half, the narrative was too incoherent to keep one invested in it as a viewer. ‘Raabta’ was a case of a resplendent idea not translating very well on to the screen. What stayed with me, though, some gorgeous frames put together by Martin Preiss, a soaring soundtrack by Pritam/JAM8 (songs) and Sachin – Jigar (background score) and the performances delivered by each and every member of the cast.
In ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, Kriti, admittedly, played a character which belonged to a world she was removed of. She understood the nuances attached to the character and did a very good job at bringing Bitti alive on the screen. ‘Raabta, however, posed a different kind of challenge. Here, she had two characters to play, each of which was vastly different from the other. While Saira was a modern, young woman living in Budapest and running a boutique chocolate shop, Saiba belonged to an unknown time period when humans were far from being the civilized creatures they are today. Saiba was a warrior princess and had a certain rawness to her which had to be brought to the fore effectively without any major reference points. Not to forget, the character was a part of some well-choreographed action sequences that needed a lot of preparation. Though relatively easier to portray, Saira was someone who suffered from the trauma of losing her parents as a child in a freak accident and had grown up as an independent woman sans the support of any family. In her dreams, she gets visuals of her past life and till a certain point, does not know what to make of those images.
‘Raabta’ was a film that gave Kriti the scope and the opportunity to do much more as an actress than she got to do in her earlier films. Despite the inconsistencies in the script, she made the best out of the opportunity. She brought out the contrast in the two characters wonderfully and delivered a performance that deserves a lot more attention and appreciation than it did.