Jio Studios and Maddock Films’ Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya (UA) is a love story. Aryan (Shahid Kapoor) meets Sifra (Kriti Sanon) in the US and sparks fly. Even as their romance blossoms, Aryan realises that it is an impossible love story. Why is Aryan convinced that the love story will not lead to a happy ending? Does he give up or does he still try? What happens thereafter? Do the lovers unite in matrimony?

Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah have written a story that’s quite radical in thought, especially for the Indian audience. And that is the film’s biggest undoing. In spite of novelty in subject, the story will not appeal to many. Rather, many among the public will find the concept ridiculous. The duo’s screenplay is too stretched and gives the feeling of repetitiveness once the novelty value is over. No doubt, some scenes evoke laughter but that’s not enough. Among the entertaining scenes are the behaviour of Sifra when she comes to India with Aryan, her carrying out of tasks towards the end, some of her responses, etc.

But because the story would seem weird to a large section of the audience at the concept level itself, the drama built around it would not be palatable to a lot of people. It seems, the two writers got so excited about the novel concept that they did not bother to even pause for a while to understand if the weirdness of the story was overpowering the novelty factor. And that’s what happens! Why, some of the characters in the drama behave strangely and often randomly just so that the drama can move ahead. Frankly, for Aryan — who is a robotic engineer, no less — to be convinced that he can marry Sifra seems so unpalatable that everything thereafter seems unbelievable for this reason too. Technical words like ‘robot’, ‘hard disc’, ‘charging’, ‘recharge’, ‘battery down’, ‘(computer) memory’, ‘programmed’, ‘admin’ and the like will confuse a lot of people among the audience as they may not make much sense. Even among those who understand the technical jargon, there will be many who would be put off by the sheer absurdity of the concept so that the drama will not appeal to them.

However, the biggest drawback is that the point of having sex with a machine has been glossed over by the writers as if that doesn’t need any clarification, but the fact is that that point raises questions in every viewer’s mind and hence begs a solid clarification. When the viewers don’t get a plausible explanation about how the act may have happened, they, in a way, switch off. Point to note is that this lack of explanation gets underlined because the writers have actually explained where a tomato, devoured by the machine, has gone! Also, the entire extended-family drama is hardly entertaining. Some parts of the drama are even unnecessary! Like, for instance, the portion of Aryan’s grandfather being rushed to hospital hardly adds anything to the ongoing drama. Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah’s dialogues are good when they are light-hearted, and okay otherwise.

Shahid Kapoor does a fine job as Aryan Agnihotri. He tends to go overboard in a couple of scenes with his maternal aunt, Urmila. He looks extremely handsome and his dances are outstanding. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that his dances are a viewer’s absolute delight. Kriti Sanon is wonderful as Sifra. She has played the difficult and unusual character with a lot of understanding. She looks glamorous and beautiful. Dharmendra lends average support as Aryan’s grandfather. Dimple Kapadia is so-so as Urmila, Aryan’s maternal aunt. Anubha Fatehpuria is okay as Aryan’s mother. Rakesh Bedi is fair in the role of Aryan’s father. Ashish Verma has his moments as Monty. Rajesh Kumar leaves a fine mark as Aryan’s maternal uncle. Grusha Kapoor doesn’t have much scope as Aryan’s paternal aunt (Bua). Brij Bhushan Shukla makes his presence felt as Aryan’s foofa. Maahi Raj Jain is natural as Tim Tim. Shaunak Duggal is cute as Chintu. Raashul Vijay Tandon is adequate as Pappu. Shivaani Sopuri is effective as Pammi aunty. Chitransh Raj (as Kapil) makes a mark. Amisha Thakur is nice as Myra. Rajan Kavatra (as police inspector Gupta), Manish Kumar (as constable Gujjar), Abhishek Mohan Gaikwad (as Dubeyji), Kamal Chellani (as Vishal), Suryansh Mishra (as Kushal), Snehal Sitaram Shidam (as Mangla), Shivani Jeevan Jadhav (as the engagement girl), Usha Saksena (as the mother of the engagement girl), Rajan Tiwari (as Panditji) and the others provide ordinary support. Janhvi Kapoor adds glamour in a cameo appearance.

Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah’s direction is alright but they have not been able to camouflage the shortcomings of the script with their narration. Music (Tanishk Bagchi, Raghav, Sachin-Jigar and Mitraz) is very entertaining. Mitraz’s Ankhiyaan gulab song is the best and it is already very popular. Lyrics (Nina Mathur, Tanishk Bagchi, Neeraj Rajawat and Mitraz) are good. Song picturisations (by Jani Master for Laal peeli ankhiyaan and Teri baaton 2.0, Vijay Ganguly for Ankhiyaan gulab, and Piyush-Shazia for Tum se) are excellent. Sachin-Jigar’s background music is impactful. Laxman Utekar’s cinematography, and Santhana Krishnan Ravichandran and Jishnu Bhattacharjee’s additional cinematography are lovely. Action and stunt scenes (by Aejaz Gulab and Manohar Verma) are alright. Mayur Sharma’s production designing, and Tushar Vinil Kapoor’s art direction are of a fine standard. Manish Pradhan’s editing is loose. A point here about the mixing: it is below the mark because several dialogues are unclear.

On the whole, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya may be somewhat entertaining but it will be rejected by the majority at the concept level itself and hence will find the going tough. Its poor title is a big minus point as a lot of people would not feel inclined to watch the film because of its irritatingly long and difficult title.

Released on 9-2-’24 at Inox (daily 10 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru PEN Marudhar Cine Entertainment. Publicity: so-so. Opening: fair. …….Also released all over. Opening was alright at places but below the mark at others.