The danger of telling three different love stories in three different time periods in the span of two hours is that it doesn’t allow much time for plot or character development. Spending about thirty minutes on credits and song-and-dance numbers further raises the level of difficulty. Ultimately, Teri Meri Kahaani (“Our Story”) is cute but shallow.
Connecting the three stories are the actors playing the lovers: Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. In each time period, their characters meet by accidentally bumping into each other. He overcomes her initial distaste for him, they fall in love and sing and dance, then he does something stupid to put her off again.
The narrative begins in Mumbai circa 1960. Chopra plays a superstar actress named Ruksan and Kapoor a struggling musician named Govind. He courts her while toying with the emotions of Maahi (Prachi Desai).
Fast-forward to a present-day storyline set in England. A budding romance between college students Radha (Chopra) and Krish (Kapoor) is complicated by his ex-girlfriend, Meera (Neha Sharma)
Finally, the story flashes back to Lahore, 1910. Kapoor plays a lech named Javed and Chopra plays Aradhana, the daughter of an independence activist. Javed takes extreme measures to prove to Aradhana and her disapproving father that he’s not the useless layabout he appears to be.
All of the romances suffer because Kapoor’s characters are all clueless about women. It’s not fate that keeps the couples eternally apart. Kapoor just plays a trio of knuckleheads.
Without any star-crossed interference, the success of the romantic storylines depends upon the chemistry between Kapoor and Chopra. Unfortunately, there is none. It’s not completely their fault, as the structure of the stories — meet-cute, dancing, he does something dumb — doesn’t allow them enough time to develop passion.
There are some interesting stylistic choices that add flair to the film. The 2012 story is augmented with Facebook status updates and Tweets by the characters that appear onscreen as their relationship progresses.
The 1960 storyline pays homage to the movie industry in its presentation. The Mumbai street scenes were obviously filmed in front of a green screen, as confirmed by behind-the-scenes footage shown during the closing credits. I didn’t love the effect as it made scenes look flat. The action is interrupted occasionally by title cards, as seen in silent movies, and Govind engages in some Charlie Chaplin-style antics. Again, I didn’t love the effect, but it did help to distinguish this storyline from the others.
If anything stands out about Teri Meri Kahaani, it’s the song-and-dance numbers, which are uniformly entertaining. Since they make up almost a quarter of the movie’s runtime, their contribution is significant. “Humse Pyaar Kar Le Tu” was undoubtedly my favorite.
Overall, there’s nothing terribly wrong with Teri Meri Kahaani, but it’s nothing special. With its abbreviated storylines, frequent dance numbers, and short runtime, it’s perfect for people with short attention spans.