A self-declared Yash Chopra fan, Kunal Kohli has had a remarkable career thus far. He didn't have a great beginning with MUJHSE DOSTI KAROGE, but surprised one and all with his dexterity in films like HUM TUM and FANAA. THODA PYAAR THODA MAGIC couldn't restructure the magic of HUM TUM, but all eyes are on his new outing TERI MERI KAHAANI. The question is, will he be able to strike a chord this time?
Preceding its release, the tittle-tattle went on an overdrive asserting that TERI MERI KAHAANI bears a striking semblance to the 2005 Taiwanese film THREE TIMES, which featured three chronologically separate love stories. Both, the Hou Hsiao-Hsien directed project and Kunal's film are positioned over three time frames where the hero and the heroine find love in different circumstances. While the Taiwanese film was set in 1911, 1966 and 2005, TERI MERI KAHAANI is set in 1910, 1960 and present-day U.K.
But do the three stories connect with each other? Now that's one question that shouldn't be answered in a review. It may rob the film of its magnetism.
I have watched both the films and let me enlighten you that both are dissimilar to each other. Perhaps, the idea of three love stories in three different eras may have germinated from the Taiwanese film, but that's about it. The story and treatment of THREE TIMES is poles apart, while TERI MERI KAHAANI is the atypical love story that one is accustomed to watching. So, there. A happenstance in the subject matter doesn't make it analogous or a blatant replication, does it?
Can we truly love one person throughout our life and hope that fate makes us meet the same person in every life of ours? This story takes us through a journey of eternal love between a couple who have vowed to love each other not only in this life, but in every life to follow. Their love is so strong that even destiny wants to bring them together. The story starts in 1960 Bombay with Govind and Ruksar, then moves ahead to present times, 2012 England with Radha and Krish and then goes back in time to Punjab 1910 with Aradhana and Javed.
Can Javed and Aradhana still be together? Will Ruksar realize that Govind's feeling for her were genuine? Will Krish be able to clear the misunderstandings?
Independently and collectively, the three love stories divided in three different eras of TERI MERI KAHAANI do accomplish at portraying how our lives are influenced and even revolutionized by the times we live in. However, the film doesn't thrive on all accounts, there are a few dull moments [the present-day story stagnates after a point and the pacing tends to get unhurried, thus making you fidgety and impatient at times], but buried in its experimental storytelling and innate performances is a heartwarming tale that's gratifying and succeeds in planting a smile on your face. Especially the way Kunal concludes the three stories!
On the brighter side, there are no preceding births, nobody expires or recalls meeting earlier. The viewer is well aware that Shahid and Priyanka have met before, but the characters are completely clueless about the past.
Different eras are the crux of this motion picture. In fact, these eras take the account frontward. Each story tackles diverse times and societal principles and at least two stories -- the Poona and Punjab episodes -- keep you hooked [screenplay: Robin Bhatt and Kunal Kohli]. It's actually very unusual to experience a story which progresses in this fashion. This is a setting where one gets to witness the inventiveness and resourcefulness of a director. Without doubt, TERI MERI KAHAANI gives Kunal this break.
A special mention of the production design [Muneesh Sappel]. The sets created to depict the different eras is admirable. While recreating the pre-independence India must have been tough, Sappel has recreated the era of 1960s impeccably well. TERI MERI KAHAANI is, without doubt, one of the better albums by Sajid-Wajid. In fact, Sajid-Wajid and lyricist Prasoon Joshi make sure the soundtrack is extremely likeable, especially these tracks -- 'Jabse Mere Dil Ko Uff', 'Mukhtasar', 'Allah Jaane' and 'Humse Pyaar Karle Tu'. Sunil Patel's cinematography is top notch. Dialogue, penned by Kunal Kohli, are poetic and romantic.
Not many actors get the opportunity to portray three diverse roles in a single movie. But Shahid carries each of those parts with refinement, besides looking debonair in each character. There is no quizzing his performing abilities either. He pulls the act with effortlessness and panache. As a matter of fact, whenever Shahid has attempted something diverse, the results have been luminous. From playing a musician in Bollywood to a compulsive flirt in Punjab to the unflustered and trendy youngster settled in U.K., Shahid does an exceptional job. Among the three characters, his take as Javed is sure to win him accolades.
As the spirited Aradhana of 1910, the dazzling movie star Rukhsar of 1960 or the joyful Radha of 2012, Priyanka is a complete livewire in each of the acts. On a personal level, I liked her the most as Aradhana, a full-on Punjabi girl who's vivacious and bubbly. What also makes the film work is the chemistry the two actors share. They appear exceptionally comfy with each other and bring to the table what the spectators are looking for.
Prachi Desai is sparkling in a cameo. Neha Sharma is decent. Vrajesh Hirjee does well. Surendra Pal is okay.
On the whole, TERI MERI KAHAANI is uncomplicated and charming. Not the usual romantic fare, this one presents three different stories in three different eras without getting theatrical or melodramatic. Thanks to its innovative storytelling, it comes across as the perfect date movie, holding tremendous appeal for the Facebook Gen. TERI MERI KAHAANI is pleasurable and fascinating in equal measures!