Teri Meri Kahaani

Directed by: Kunal Kohli
2012

Teri Meri Kahaani had the potential to be a cute, romantic film with some brilliance but, unfortunately, became a pedantic, long-winded saga with trite emotions.

The story follows a couple in three incarnations as they find each other, fall in love, and through “circumstance” (read: their own actions) are separated. Ultimately the pair ends up together, overcoming the obstacles on their path to love. The overall idea feels a little musty, and despite my natural disposition to like this flavor of romance I have to admit that I left the theater underwhelmed.

The concept of the film is solid and could have worked out wonderfully if one of the stories was made the focus and the other two were kept as background references. There was far too much focus on re-developing the characters in each decade. I did, however, appreciate that each time the story changed, the basics of the characters changed. Maybe. They had different personalities, they were fresh and different. Clean slates for the love story to build from. Perhaps they were too different though, if the point of the film was to suggest that this couple was destined to be together in all lifetimes then there should have been some basic character frame that they subscribed to in order to add a suggestion of continuity. Just the physical look of the characters remained consistent from 1910 to 1960 to 2012.

While very stylized the first third of the movie (set in 1960) is almost brilliant; but brilliant in a “this is never going to work” kind of a way. Mirroring techniques of The Artist there is very little talking and most communication is done by the songs. There was a lack of commitment to the idea, however, and the effect is disappointing. Full dedication to a silent-ish film would have been absolutely stunning and ground breaking.

Fast forward to 2012 for an introspective on how technology is both ruining and creating our love lives. I was watching my life unfold and kept turning to my friend saying “Oh my, this is genius”. It probably wasn’t that genius but it was nonetheless an honest look at how we communicate today. Tweets, FB, texts, Skype it’s all represented and social media-obsessed me was totally in love with it.

The film mega-rewinds to 1910 for the last installment of our lovers’ story. Honestly, I prefer things in chronological order and wish that this part had come first; but far be it from me to get my OCD’ed opinions over everything. I thought this story had the most weight behind it. Had it been the singular focus of the film it could have developed into something really great. Unfortunately it felt rushed, jarring and a little shallow, as all the stories did.

Priyanka Chopra is one of my favorite actors but in this film she just does not deliver. She was stoic as the 1960s bombshell, too damn fidgety as the 2012 college student and unbelievable as the 1910 activist. Snooze, Piggy Chops. Is playing multiple roles some sort of life mission for her? I’m all for stretching yourself as an artist but this is getting a little out of hand. I say it with love, Pigs.

As a closet favorite of mine I don’t expect a lot out of Shahid Kapoor. Give me a bashful smile, do a little dance, wear a kurta and I’m good to go. Hence, in Teri Meri Kahaani, Shahid Kapoor performed to my very low standards. He’s detached, a little lost and mostly unexciting but… kurta. There are no further arguments.

All in all Teri Meri Kahaani is as mediocre as it was expected to be. Timepass for those ice cream-induced, woe is me, Netflix Instant nights.

 

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