The idea of three separate love stories, set in three different eras, played by one lead pair – Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra - is wonderful. The picturisation of the very glamourous and sexy lead pair romancing each other in Sargoda, Lahore, in 1910 to vintage Bombay in 1960 to London in 2012, set to some fabulous songs, is even better. There’s beautiful people, love, romance, poetry, all of it. But do all three stories intertwine into one, big love of a film? I’m not so sure.
Govind, (Shahid Kapoor) a struggling musician, boards a film star’s train compartment by mistake at the Poona station. The 60s filmstar is Ruksar (Priyanka Chopra) who ran away from Lucknow with her best friend to become a heroine in Bombay. They get talking over jamuns on the train ride to Bombay and you know where it is headed. Both of them look the parts they play, down to the very last detail. Ruksar’s Mumtaz sarees, Govind’s tuxedo dancing mix of Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor – are a delight to watch. The twists and turns in this love story are predictable and boring, but the era is depicted beautifully – vintage Bombay at its best. Quaint trams, Bombay Dyeing ads, Maratha Mandir, Phoenix Mills when it really was a textile mill, and not the glitzy mall it is today, three odd cars plying the Victoria Terminus stretch… moving picture postcards.
Prachi Desai makes a special appearance in the film as Govind’s neighbour in the Britannia Guest House – a very cheeky and “modern” 60s girl and she is alluring in the part. The journalist who stalks the filmstar and her interest, played by Vrajesh Hirjee, is more comical, than threatening.
The next love story is set in 2012 in London where Krish Kapoor (Shahid Kapoor) and Radha Chopra (Priyanka Chopra) literally bump into each other, kerbside. It’s love in the times of Facebook and Twitter soon after with some tech drama thrown in. Public spats with the ex, butt crack picture uploads, mean captions, et al, that culminate in Stratford Upon Avon’s Shakespeare in the Park. Nothing Shakespearean here though!
The third love story is my favourite, simply because Shahid Kapoor is flawless in his portrayal of the shayari spouting, good for nothing village bum and Casanova, Javed Kadri. He is endearing in the role as he vascillates between narcissistic moments, emotional threads and the light-heartedness of a player in this track. I’ve said it before and I have to say it again, Shahid is a terrific actor. Priyanka as Aradhana in this story plays the Punjabi girl well, but her performance as Ruksar, the 60’s filmstar, is the best in the film.
The film is all about how beautiful the lead players look and enact their parts and the picturesque surroundings they fall in love in. Director Kunal Kohli’s dialogues hit the right notes, but not always. The story goes a tad askew and a bit flat in parts, so as a whole, Teri Meri Kahaani is not the greatest love story ever told on celluloid. But Shahid’s portrayal of Javed Kadri may leave you wanting that one, big, all-consuming love in your life, like the 1910 Sargoda love story in the film.
Teri Meri Kahaani is really about Shahid and Priyank's magnetic screen presence – they look stunning as a lead pair and should do more films together. They play off each other’s onscreen avatars extremely well.