Movie Review: TERI MERI KAHAANI by FENIL SETA
Our love stories are often criticized for being long and predictable. After all, what’s new in them – hero meets heroine, first they fight, then become friends and later lovebirds. Problems arise and finally the couple is reunited. Teri Meri Kahaani also follows the similar pattern in a way but there’s a big difference – there are three love stories of two characters and they fall in love with each other in three different eras! And all this is neatly wrapped up in just 2 hours! The love stories are ordinary but the setting and witty dialogues give the film a boost. But sadly, the climax is plain disappointing. Watch it if you want to experience a light-hearted romcom after experiencing serious dramas like Shanghai and Gangs Of Wasseypur!
The story of the movie: 1910 – Sargoda, Lahore. Javed (Shahid Kapoor) is a streetsmart flirt who loves the British and their women when everyone around him is fighting for independence. He meets Aradhana (Priyanka Chopra) and his life changes. 1910 – Bombay. Govind (Shahid Kapoor) bumps into superstar Ruksar (Priyanka Chopra) while he is on his way to Bombay to try his luck as a musician/singer. Both get drawn to each other, but there’s a hitch. 2012 – England. Krish (Shahid Kapoor), who religiously wants to study and do his job, meets Meera (Priyanka Chopra) on his birthday and sparks start flying soon enough. Everything is going great until grave misunderstandings arise between them.
Most viewers believed that the love stories would go in ascending sequence and hence 1910 will be the first story of the film followed by 1960 track and finally 2012 story. That’s not the case. The film starts with the 1960s track followed by 2012 and finally 1910 track. Almost 75-80% of these three stories are shown one after another and the climax shows the culmination of all 3 tracks simultaneously. And it’s here that the film falters because the ending could have been novel if the director would have wisely intersected the stories. However that doesn’t happen.
The 1960s track was brilliant. From the promos, the old Bombay sets seemed tacky. But it’s not and a lot of detailing has gone into making the sets (especially the trams…beautiful!). Director Kunal Kohli adopted a Chaplinesque filmmaking and placards which gave a fresh appeal to it! The 2012 track too had its moments and the constant tweeting and messaging by the character will be lapped up by the youngsters. However, the entire ‘facebook war’ scene didn’t seem great although Shahid-Priyanka’s performance save the day. Finally, the 1910 track was in many ways the best part of the film. Shahid’s shayaris were killer and humour quotient at an all time high. This is the only track whose ending worked well.
Both Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra sincerely have worked on all the three characters and the result shows. Shahid Kapoor obviously shines the most as Javed but was incredible as Krish and Govind as well. The film might not work but Shahid will be loved for sure. Priyanka Chopra meanwhile too acts with ease and panache. She was looking stunning as the 60s heroine, reminding of Mumtaz and other greats of the era. Notice the way she walks and her expressions when make-up artists are working on her – an indication that she has done a great deal of homework about the yesteryear’s actresses. Even her Aaradhana and Meera act had flashes of brilliance. And as well know, the chemistry between the actors is electrifying! Great work by both! Besides, there’s Prachi Desai in the film who looks stunning. Neha Sharma is alright. Vrajesh Hirjee brings the house down!
Sajid-Wajid’s music is soulful and already topping charts. Prasoon Joshi as always does great and really nice to hear words like Mukhtasar in a peppy song! Jab Se Mere Dil Ko Uff is the best song of the lot followed by That’s All I Really Wanna Do, Allah Jaane and then Humse Pyaar Kar Le. Muneesh Suppel’s sets seem convincing, especially in the old Bombay scenes. Same goes for VFX (Eyeqube) but the sky and horizon seemed fake in night scenes. Sunil Patel’s cinematography is apt and so is Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score.
Kunal Kohli-Robin Bhatt’s screenplay was sans complaints initially but could have been better during the later stages of the film. The makers could have attempted a Love Aaj Kal or Rang De Basanti which would have taken the film many notches higher! Kunal’s dialogues were brilliant in all three stories (including the shayaris) and story was novel. The film stood out from the rest of reincarnation sagas as the characters don’t recollect their past lives. Kunal’s direction was breezy – nothing extraordinary but neat and decent. The manner in which he incorporated humour and masti in the pre-independence era scenes was noteworthy as not many have attempted to do the same. But the jail sequence (and the song) was totally unconvincing. Yet, it can be overlooked but one can’t say the same for the climax and if that was taken care of, Teri Meri Kahaani would had been in a different league!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Govind and Ruksar in the train
2. Govnd and Ruksar at the Watson Studios
3. The songs Jab Se Mere, Mukhtasar and That’s All I Really Wanna Do
4. Ruksar’s movie premiere
5. Meera asks Krish’s name (nice!)
6. Javed’s entry
7. Javed meets Aaradhana
8. Javed participates in the morcha
On the whole, Teri Meri Kahaani is a feel-good love saga. The premise is novel and although the execution isn’t extraordinary which is fine, it’s the climax that just doesn’t work. It’s a treat to witness the 60s Bombay and Javed’s sher-o-shayaris. Shahid-Priyanka are incredible and the film is a must watch for their fans!
My rating-*** out of 5!