Anurag Kashyap’s latest release, “Dobaaraa,” will leave some of you stunned from the beginning. The preconceived notion about the title of the film will be denied as “Dobaaraa” is literally called “2:12” (Do Baaraa). Again, it’s an Anurag Kashyap film, and you expect to be thrilled. However, the funny thing is that violence and emotion are not there. That was unlike Kashyap. Thanks to the OTTs, the audience had grown from underestimating the storytelling in the film to praising world cinema at large. If any of you have seen Oriol Paulo’s “Mirage,” you are allowed to have doubts about this adaptation. “Mirage” talked about very twisted timelines and parallel universes too. Making a film in Bollywood about a parallel universe, time travel, and different timelines always has more risks involved. But the best part was that Anurag Kashyap never looked confused while adapting this twisted plot. Moreover, he put a lot of effort into clarifying it for the audience. So, let’s see whether he failed or succeeded in making the adaptation great.
What Happens In ‘Dobaara’?
The film starts in Pune in 1996 and we see a boy named Anay cycling around the town of Hinjewadi. There he lived with his mother, who was making a construction plan for a hospital named ‘Bluecross’. There was a massive storm outside. Anay had a video camera and some tapes with his father’s recordings, whom he missed occasionally. He played one of the old clips later that night, and suddenly he heard some noise from his neighbor, Raja Ghosh’s house. He tried to wake up his mother but failed, and then he went to Raja Ghosh’s house on his own. He found a dead body there on the floor, and while escaping, he was run over by a fire brigade. The time of his death was 2:12 am.
Twenty-five years later, on the same stormy day, Antara Awasthi, a nurse at the ‘Bluecross’ hospital that Anay’s mother was designing, moved into the same house where Anay lived with his mother. Antara’s daughter found an old television with a video camera. They started going through the tapes and found out that the boy in the video recorded some of the clips in the same room where they were watching the television. Later that night, Antara invited their new neighbors, Abhishek and his aunt, Sheela, to dinner. Vikash, Antara’s husband, told him about the video clips and the television. Abhishek told them that the boy they saw on TV was Anay, who had died from an accident. He also told them about the murder of Raja Ghosh’s house. Vikash learned more about Anay’s death and how Raja Ghosh was captured on the internet.
Later that night, Antara felt like going through the tapes again, and something unique happened. She could interact with Anay through the television and the camera. She told him who she was and where she was working. After hearing the hospital’s name, ‘Bluecross’, Anay realized she was from the future as the hospital had not been built in 1996. When Anay heard the noise from Raja Ghosh’s house, Antara warned him not to go there. She told him that if he went there, he would die. She even showed him the news article where it said that Anay was dead. Anay did not believe it until he ran out of the house and saw a fire brigade crossing the street. The time was 2:12 am, and he escaped his death. The following day, when Antara woke up, she was in a completely different state. She did not have her nose pin; instead, she was wearing a glass without which she could not even see. She was not at her home either, and a phone call greeted her as a doctor. She had no idea what was happening as she could not find any evidence of Avanti’s existence. She was having an identity crisis because everyone she knew didn’t recognize her as Antara Awasthi; additionally, she was now Dr. Antara Vashist, a top-tier professional in her field. She complained to the police, and the DCP trusted her when everyone else believed that she was making up stories on her own. Even though Vikash denied his relationship with her, he remembered her for saving his life once. There was a child named Avantika whom Antara could not save, so, according to the doctors, she was just making up stories around the people she met in real life.
Soon, Antara helped the police discover Rujuta’s, Raja Ghosh’s wife, body. In this reality, Raja Ghosh married Sheela, and they lived happily. The police asked Raja Ghosh to come and confess. The DCP described the events from the past, and as it turned out, he was the boy Antara saved 25 years ago, Anay. On the other hand, Antara came to know about Anay’s story from Abhishek. He told her that what she was saying had all been written in a book called “2:12”. A psychiatrist who used to talk to Anay wrote that book. Anay talked about Antara coming from the future and saving him from the fire brigade accident, but nobody believed it. People even made fun of him, so his mother decided to leave the locality forever. Antara felt guilty knowing what Anay had to face, but she was more eager to bring everything back to the reality she was living as a nurse. Vikash, in this reality, is married to Bhavna. However, Antara caught him with a woman named Sara. She asked him from whom he bought the house, as she thought this might lead to Anay. He told her that it was under a woman’s name. He took her to the woman’s house, the exact location where she awoke after speaking with Anay for the first time; it was called “Shikha Vats.” She came to realize that the DCP was Anay, and she was in some sort of a serious relationship with him.
When she confronted Anay, she understood that Anay had no intention of letting her return to the reality she desired. Anay waited for many years in front of the Bluecross Hospital to find Antara as she told him about the hospital back in 1996. Antara Vashist jumped in front of a car and died. To bring her back to life, Anay needed to convince Anay from 25 years back not to wait for Antara so that Anatara’s reality never changes. Later, we see that Antara is alive and happily living with Avanti. She even helps the police to recover Rujuta’s body, and in the end, she meets with Anay. This Anay doesn’t know about Antara, or he forgot about her.
‘Dobaara’ Ending Explained: How Did Reality And Fiction Collapse Into Each Other? Why Did Anay Fail To Recognize Antara?
The storm opened up some sort of portal that created a bridge between the present and the future. This story revolves around the theory of the butterfly effect. According to this theory, if time travel ever exists, people should not interfere with the timeline’s events. Here in the story, we are introduced to three different timelines. In one timeline, Anay dies, and Antara is a nurse who comes into the possession of Anay’s house 25 years later. In another timeline, Anay lives and searches for Antara, who interacted with him from the future and saved his life. After finding her, he did not mention the night of 1996; as they were in a relationship. Now, there is another timeline where Anay forgets about what happened to him 25 years ago and does not remember Antara’s face. Here, Antara had everything from the first timeline except that Raja Ghosh was not dead and was living happily with Sheela, just like in the second timeline. However, here, Antara again helped the police find Rujuta’s body and then interacted with Anay for the first time.
When Antara intervened with the events in the past, it created a different reality or the second timeline. When Anay was forced to interact with the past again, it was not the same as before. In the past, little Anay had already seen Antara and was already waiting for her to return. But, Anay from 2021 interacted with Anay from 1996 and told him that Antara would never return to talk to him. This creates another divergence, and the little Anay gradually forgets about Antara. Confusing? Okay, Let’s clear things up from a different perspective. Let us follow what happened in the neighborhood in these three timelines. This will help you understand everything clearly.
Let’s go through what happened with Raja Ghosh in three timelines. In the first one, where Anay dies, he is captured. Because Anay’s death brought the attention of everyone in the locality, Rujuta’s body was also found in the house; hence the arrest was easy. However, he committed suicide in jail. In the second timeline, where Anay waited for Antara to come, Raja Ghosh lived happily with the woman he had an affair with, Sheela, Abhishek’s aunty. But, Antara, with the help of Anay, found Rujuta’s body and proved that Anay was right back in 1996 that Raja Ghosh was a murderer. The third timeline also had the same incidents, only this time, Antara herself went to the police. Why was Raja Ghosh not already in jail in the third timeline? According to the facts, Antara regained her first timeline’s reality in the third timeline. Here, in the third timeline, everything was the same as in the second timeline except for Anay, as Anay’s past was changed in the second timeline (when Anay from 2021 told Anay from 1996 to forget about Antara and not ever look for her). So, if everything remained the same as the second timeline for others, it would go the same for Raja Ghosh and Sheela. Raja and Sheela were in a relationship in the second timeline because Anay failed to prove anything against him. Antara, seeing them together, decided to help Anay in the third timeline. The only way she could possibly help him was by finding Rujuta’s body, which would convict Raja Ghosh of murder. She informed the police, and Anay came to the spot. He saw Antara and started to remember her from his past. He saw her 25 years ago, but his future self told him to forget about her. Antara introduced her with the name Antara Vashist, the woman Anay loved in the second timeline.
The fluency of the storytelling in Anurag Kashyap’s films is always incredible. However, he somehow lacked his subtlety this time, maybe because he dumbed down the original writing a bit. He took a massive risk in adapting one of the most twisted stories of recent times. As a result, Antara’s dialogue felt like she was trying to make the audience understand what was going on. Apart from that, everything in “Dobaaraa,” was done in the right tone even after adapting Oriol Paulo’s “Mirage.” In particular, the 90s vibe was majorly relatable as even little details were monitored sharply. Some might argue that the past and present cuts were not good enough, but it was not something that would bother the audience much. The only irritating parts were the songs, as they were purely unnecessary.
Apart from that, Taapsee Pannu’s performance was average. Maybe it was the writing that failed the character. In “Mirage,” Vera Roy’s main inspiration to return to the first timeline was her daughter. Here, the inspiration was somehow lost, and even Anay’s intention was not clearly established. In other words, the protagonist’s emotions were somehow lacking. Apart from that, the adaptation was quite good as it had its own unique way of storytelling. The best part was that it was not a complete copy of its inspiration but it had its own unique way of storytelling. The makers showed a lot of courage to make such a film in an industry which is generally not receptive to such genres. For that, kudos to Anurag Kashyap for all the risks he has taken in making this film.
“Dobaaraa” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Anurag Kashyap.