When Teri Meri Kahaani begins with a message about serendipity with two babies born in the same hospital (one girl, one boy), you’re worried. But then on till interval, it’s a breezy ride.
We’re in 1960s Mumbai—beautiful architecture, lavishly empty roads, rain-soaked streets. We’re shown this section in Charlie Chaplin-esque frames explaining the emotion of the moment (“Uff!!!”). We also see Shahid Kapoor playing Govind and walking the Chaplin walk. What could have been unnecessary and grating, Shahid pulls off with aplomb.
He falls in love with a star (Priyanka Chopra) breaking the heart of the girl next door. The love story remains incomplete, and we move on to present day UK. This university romance full of emails, Facebook updates and SMSes is also a tad complicated. We’re then taken by the scruff of our neck to pre-independence India, where an inter-religion romance blossoms.
We’re not explained the reasons to why we are presented three romances in three eras. No heavy reincarnation mumbo-jumbo, no od-ing on true love transcending lifetimes. This time, and quite out of character, Kunal Kohli has kept the proceedings light and without unnecessary burden.
You enjoy the way Kohli has modelled each of the characters with love and nuance. You enjoy the detailing of each era whether it’s a flirtatious encounter on a tram, a character living in ‘Britannia Guest House’, a film being shot in ‘Wattson Studios’, or the excellent styling.
The dialogue is effortlessly sparkling—one era discusses the importance of adding a smiley at the end of a text, the other is a rendezvous of poetry exchanges, and yet another is flirtatious and witty.
While it may offend some, the film is not afraid to insinuate a young romance in the midst of the freedom struggle. But the second half is relativiely timid and does not keep up with the energy of the first.
The performances sparkle with earnestness and zing. Shahid Kapoor is so good in the film, he’s sure to increase his fan-following several fold. He’s excellent in each of the stories, and one can imagine viewers debating on where he was the best. Priyanka Chopra matches step with a superb performance easily slipping in-and-out of the layered characters with dexterity.
Teri Meri Kahaani holds your attention whether it’s the writing, storytelling, or the technical aspect. It’s a popcorn cruncher, but that’s also fairly intelligent and hearty. Recommended if you’re in the mood for a rom-com.
Rating: Three stars