The makers call Dobara a marital thriller, which is a blatant redundancy if you happen to know anything about protagonist Ranbir. Here's a man who apparently picks love affairs for their ability to chill his marrow and rattle his peace on a regular basis. And then when the shit lands on his head, following simple rules of gravity, he gazes up at the heavens and cries: women!
Speaking of whom, there are two particularly spunky specimens of the female contingent in Ranbir's busy life - Rhea, old girlfriend, and Anjali, present wife. Rhea suffers from schizophrenia and Anjali is a highly-strung psychiatrist. So highly strung is she that any mention of this old girlfriend's name and she screeches bloody murder and erupts into flashback mode. All the characters do this with alarming frequency.
In all fairness, Anjali isn't completely to blame. Her husband happens to be the world's stupidest man-shaped hamster. The reason you're reminded of the furry rodents is because of Ranbir's distressing habit of squeaking ineffectually every time there's a crisis. This is how he happens to get back in touch with his scheming and extremely disturbed ex-girlfriend and ends up going with her to Goa on a trip that forces his wife to fall into another man's arms. And it isn't even intermission yet, so sink deeper into your seat and prepare to hibernate.
Rhea is played by Raveena Tandon, who is as gorgeous as ever and as misguided as ever when it comes to picking a role. Her character is half-baked; she displays some disturbing symptoms of her condition and in the first half of the film comes across as someone who needs constant, patient supervision. Post-interval, however, she does a back-flip to put a hyperactive pancake to shame and turns into maturity incarnate, spouting immense gyaan and making great bleeding sacrifices. Apparently, schizophrenia can be cured with large doses of over-the-counter melodrama.
Jackie Shroff as the hapless Ranbir is brooding, melancholic and possesses superhuman quantities of pure idiocy. Like his life isn't hazardous enough already, our man here does everything in his power to make it much worse. He calls home from the Mumbai-Goa highway to inform his wife that he's going with his ex-girlfriend to meet their secret love-child, and not to wait up for dinner. He seems totally taken aback by her explosion of jealousy. Women, huh? Go figure!
Mahima Chaudhary's is the only character with any amount of clarity. Apart from the rather distracting need to display cleavage at every given opportunity, Anjali seems a most together sort of person, who quits the screeching post-interval and follows her husband to Goa to settle things once and for all. On the way there she flirts with a stranger, who later finds out that she's "lonely, not loose". Who says 'loose'?!
As a 'mature' love story Dobara doesn't score too highly. The story starts off decently enough, with enough potential for psycho-suspense, but eventually it dissolves into a puddle of Bollywood-ian drama most putrid. There's neither focus nor restraint in the story-telling, a potent combination that lulls you to sleep with its self-indulgent mood and then kicks you awake with shrill theatrics. And what good is a bad movie if it can't even afford you a nice nap?