Teri Meri Kahaani - spins a yarn of love stories

Bogged down with cliches and randomness of sub plots, the romcom fails to light a spark in the sizzling chemistry Shahid and Priyanka share in real life

The first scene opens with two newborns, supposed soulmates we are told, that are destined to meet in any shape or form in every lifetime.

Oh boy. This in itself is the turning point in "Teri Meri Kahaani", which aptly cries out - much like the newborn themselves - at the unsuspecting audience to bolt from the cinemas as fast as their feet can carry them, lest they like being subjected to a film that stops short of outright insulting the  intelligence.

With a tagline that promises 'Thrice upon a love story', "Teri Meri Kahaani" spins a yarn of one such pair of soulmates who defy odds across three lifespans to tread the path of true love.

However, what the romcom fails to achieve on this epic journey is any greatness or a meaty story for that matter.

Bogged down with cliches and randomness of sub plots, the film's first serving transports you into the 1960s era, where Govind (Shahid Kapoor) and Ruksar (Priyanka Chopra) have a chance encounter aboard a train bound for Bombay.

Ruksar is a Bollywood superstar, who has booked out an entire train compartment to herself, into which staggers an annoyingly coy Govind, who's a struggling musician eager to make it big in the bright lights.

Five minutes is all it takes for a love story to take root, and another five for a triangle to add masala to the mix in the form of Prachi Desai.

Kapoor miserably tries to be cute, apes Charlie Chaplin and Shammi Kapoor at intervals, and if all that fails, falls back on "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge's" Raj to add some innocent romance to the proceedings; meanwhile, Chopra merely annoys with her banal coy act.

Director Kunal Kohli uses this era as a peg to supposedly pay tribute to the legendary Shammi Kapoor's dancing prowess a la "Teesri Manzil", but "Jabse Uff" is a half-hearted attempt at best.

A twist in the end sees the two lovers separate and viewers are now thrown into year 2012 with an abruptness that jars.

Here a cool dude Krish (Kapoor in avatar number two) has just called it quits with his girlfriend Meera (Neha Sharma) and is prowling the streets when he literally bumps into Radha (Chopra again).

The duo feel an instant 'vibe' that's as comfortable as 'old jeans' (who says this crap anyways?) and set about to croon a few tunes before embarking on a Twitter romance that we assume is a play on their real life social media footprint.

But lo and behold, fate throws yet another hurdle in their path in the form of Facebook and some dirty laundry being aired; so yes, you guessed it, the couple split just in time for the curtains to be raised on story number three and an interval.

Thankfully, the second half of the film stocks some redeeming moments, but for the uninitiated and non media savvy, the transgression of the three tales leaves the viewer thoroughly confused, as was the case at the film's premiere in Dubai amongst many in the audience.

But coming back to saga number three: the year is 1910 and Kapoor now plays a village flirt in Javed Qadri, who once again bumps into Chopra's Aradhana while fleeing the British.

Oh, and why is he fleeing the 'white supremists' you ask?

Actually, who cares, because by this point you may have lost the will to live.

Kohli gleefully uses the year to showcase plenty of earthy music and the token 'sufiana' track with song numbers 19 and 20 (well, it felt that many at least), before we finally get to the point of this flagging tale.

Aradhana is the daughter of a freedom fighter no less, and to prove his love, Javed takes on the British - not a gargantuan task considering they are portrayed as a bunch of bumbling buffoons - before being thrown into the dungeons.

Three months and a jail-based song and dance routine later between the dewy eyed duo, we learn that Aradhana has been married off by her imposing father.

In despair, Javed decides to marry another woman but fate has something else planned.

In fact, the next 15 minutes now switch between the three eras in an amalgamation of scenes that is destined to unite the lovers, because after all, they are soulmates and the Indian audience are suckers for a happy ending.

But what Kohli fails to understand is that the viewers are not such big fools who will take this milkshake laced with rotting fruits and gulp it down without a noise.

The premise may have been unique but the packaging and handling is as old as the Indian film industry itself.

Script is king in Indian cinema Mr Kohli and if you want to fork over millions thinking your lead couple's on-screen chemistry will draw in the audience, then you are sadly mistaken.

In a month when films such as Dibaker Banerjee's "Shanghai" wows viewers, its frankly shameful for a reputed filmmaker to serve up a candyfloss concoction that can only result in a bad case of indigestion.

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