Film Review: Teri Meri Kahaani (2012)

When thinking about Teri Meri Kahaani before it’s release, all I seem to think of is how much hype was created to surround it. I’ve got to say, although perhaps not to the untrained or unsuspecting eye, Kunal Kohli’s ambitiousness seaps through in just the concept of the film. For those not already in the know, the film surrounds three separate love stories in three different eras (1910, 1960, 2012)… this means six different characters; three played by Shahid Kapoor and three played by Priyanka Chopra. Yes, as I already stated… it’s ambitious to the core. Now if you’re a Bollywood buff (or even a self-proclaimed one like yours truly), you will have understood that when the word ‘ambition’ is attached to any such movie, it’s either going to by overhyped and fall flat on its face or it will be one that is dumbed down in promotions and achieves higher at the box office than expected for this exact reason. So which of the two is Teri Meri Kahaani? Is it a hit… or a miss?

What I Loved: Hand on heart… the BEST thing about this movie is Javed’s shayari. Javed is the character played by Shahid in the 1910 portion of the film. Although this portion makes up the majority of the second half of the movie, it has to be said that this is where the soul of the movie lies. His shayari made me keep saying ‘Wah’ in my seat in a not-so-packed screening of the movie. When one is succumbing to something that much then it’s proof enough of a sure-fire success. I’ve got to say Shahid’s whole avatar as Javed gave me butterflies… it showed off Shahid’s wow factor. I could only wish that the whole movie had been in that era… and perhaps it would have touched more hearts than this current three-tiered version does.

What I Hated: Hate is a very strong word. I wouldn’t say I completely hated any part of the movie. However, the 1960s Govind-Rukhsar part was perhaps one of the most boring and didn’t keep my attention much. Yes, it takes inspiration from Charlie Chaplin and, yes, there is a kind of innocence in the air with this particular era but in all honesty, it had an Om Shanti Om vibe to it which made me feel as if I’d seen it all before.

What could’ve been better: Undoubtedly, the music of the movie compliments the individual stories in the movie pretty well. However, a huge part of me feels that the soundtrack could have been a little stronger. Having said that, ‘Mukhtasar’ will remain a favourite of mine with ‘Humse pyar karle tu’ being a close second. Another thing that could have made the movie better – as outlined above – is if the whole movie was based on Javed-Aradhana.

What I thought was perfect: I am sure all will agree that the Shahid-Priyanka jodi is by far the main USP of this movie. Their chemistry on-screen is just fabulous and they are visually a beautiful couple. Nothing more can be said in terms of ‘perfection’.

I’d like to give a very special mention to Kohli’s direction in this movie. The setting and scenes of the three different eras were great and gave a real feel that one was actually in the era the story was set in. The scenes were very clean-cut and there was no obvious confusion in the stories. However, this ambition shown by him is not going to be for all tastes. A commendable and cute effort which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to come through in the climaxes or in the heart-touching stakes quite as much as it maybe should have.

Final thoughts

Overall, it would be wrong to say the film is absolute bakwas…. but the second half leaves you feeling and wanting more of the 1910 era. In this way, this movie very much reminds me of Shahid’s last offering, ‘Mausam’. In a review of this film, I had said that innocence of the first half should have been maintained in the second… and in Teri Meri Kahaani, the less-than-impressionable first half seems to pick up in bucketloads in the second half but the culmination of all three love stories isn’t quite as impactful as one would hope. So, to answer the initial question, this movie was indeed overhyped and didn’t quite hit the spot. Sorry Kohli, your effort shows but doesn’t quite deliver.

Rating: 3/5 (One full mark just for the shayari)

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