Kunal Kohli's Teri Meri Kahaani aspires to be three films for the price of one, but isn't even worth buying a single ticket. As always, all attention is showered on sets, costumes, songs and locations, but the script, characterisation and direction are so tepid, a two-hour film starts feeling like a never-ending story. Especially because Mr Kohli's grandiose aspirations prompt him to attempt an 'epic' tale of love that transcends time and space as soulmates keep colliding (literally too) over three different lifetimes.
There is no reason or logic to the chronic attraction between these similar-looking people in different periods. There's no unrequited love, a popular ploy in Hindi cinema prompting punarjanam to bring lovers together, or family opposition -- in fact, for most part, there's no family at all, with the two individuals functioning as free-floating agents of no fixed address. The film opens in 1960 where, in a nod to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Shahid Kapoor's Govind bumps into Priyanka Chopra's movie star Rukhsar aboard a Pune-Bombay train. Much effort has been put into recreating the period with a combination of studio shots and CGI and the result isn't entirely unsatisfactory.
Problem is, while the characters look and dress like they were in 1960 and even dance to a Shankar-Jaikishenesque party number with Priyanka's tightly wound glittering sari evoking memories of Mumtaz in Brahmachari, they speak like they are people from 2012 who boarded a time machine to the '60s. Neither the dialogue nor the adas of the time are evident.
Given the lack of basic research, the most authentic story then is the 2012 one set in England where Krish and Radha (really!) are studying at different universities and bump into each other, instantly fall in love, and then part ways due to a flimsy misunderstanding.
Simlar problems arise in the 1910 segment where Javed spouts couplets at every turn (because he's in Lahore, after all) to woo Aradhana, but when dancing to a song, can't avoid furious pelvic thrusts and 100 back-up dancers, which hardly seems like the norm a century ago. Moreover, his gym-toned body doesn't belong to a man who lived in the given milieu.
Kohli tries to wrap up the story in two hours -- which is a mercy, but it also doesn't allow him enough time to flesh out the three sections satisfactorily (assuming he had any ideas in that direction in the first place) and hence you're left with a half-baked effort which perhaps hopes to ride solely on the star power of its cast and a couple of catchy songs.