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From Karz to Raabta: Reincarnation seems to be Bollywood’s tried and tested formula

With Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon starrer Raabta making a lot of noise ahead of its release, here’s taking a look at other popular Bollywood movies that explored the theme of re-birth.

bollywood Updated: Jun 08, 2017 17:56 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Sushant Singh Rajput,Kriti Sanon,Jim Sarbh
Actors Kriti Sanon and Sushant Singh Rajput in a still from Raabta.

Reincarnation is Bollywood’s go-to storyline. Be it Monty from Karz, Omi from Om Shanti Om or the brother duo Karan and Arjun—filmmakers have always been fascinated by the idea of the hero being killed, and coming back to life, either to take revenge or reunite with his love.

The story for Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon starrer Raabta, releasing on June 9, is set in 2017. Shiv [portrayed by Sushant] Saira [portrayed by Kriti] are drawn to each other, and are set for a happy forever after, when their troubled past life comes knocking in the form of actor Jim Sarbh [as Zakir Merchant].

Citing this as a continuous trend in Bollywood, film critic Omar Qureshi explains, “The theme of reincarnation goes deep into karma, how you can keep coming back until you get your karma right and achieve moksha. This runs deep in the psyche of us Indians, as the subject is embedded in our culture. Nobody’s really seen the world afterlife, so this makes the subject really fascinating.”

Here’s taking a look at Bollywood’s past attempts at telling the story of lost love and delayed justice through reincarnation.


Director: Bimal Roy

Devendra (played by Dilip Kumar) plays the role of an engineer, whose car breaks down in the middle of the night and he has to take shelter in an old mansion. There, he finds out about his previous birth, his love Madhumati (played by Vyjayanthimala) and their ill-fated romance. Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Om Shanti Om’s climax is said to have been inspired from this film.

KARZ (1980)

Director: Subhash Ghai

The first half sees Ravi (played by Raj Kiran) being killed by his wife, after which he is reborn as Monty (played by Rishi Kapoor), a singer. He goes to Ooty for a holiday, recollects memories from his previous life, and sets out to take revenge. Initially panned by critics, Karz went on to become a classic, with a remake Karzzzz released in 2008 starring Himesh Reshammiya.


Director: Rakesh Roshan

The film narrates the story of two brothers, Karan (played by Salman Khan) and Arjun (played by Shah Rukh Khan), who are killed by their uncle (late Amrish Puri) when they confront him for murdering their father. Their mother Durga (played by Rakhee) refuses to believe that they are dead, and is sure that her sons will come back to take revenge. The duo is re-born, though to different parents, and ultimately reunite to avenge their deaths.


Director: Farah Khan

Om Prakash Makhija aka Omi (played by Shah Rukh Khan), a junior artist in films, falls in love with superstar Shantipriya (played by Deepika Padukone), who gets killed in a fire, set by her husband (played by Arjun Rampal). Omi dies while trying to save her, only to be reincarnated as Om Kapoor, recollecting his past life memories, and killing the villain in the climax.

LOVE STORY 2050 (2008)

Director: Harry Baweja

The film marked the debut of filmmaker Harry’s son Harman Baweja. The hero travels to the future in a time-machine made by his girlfriend’s (played by Priyanka Chopra) uncle, who gets killed in an accident. He spots her look-alike in 2050, and defeats the villain to take her back in time with him.

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First Published: Jun 08, 2017 17:55 IST