Teri Meri Love Story (Review): Weak production values ruin an otherwise decent film

Movie Name: Teri Meri Love Story

Release Date: Sept 2, 2016

Director: Jawad Bashir

Review by: Momin Ali Munshi

Ever since the first announcement of the romantic comedy Teri Meri Love Story was made back in April, this film was on my most eagerly awaited releases of the year. The film had a great ensemble cast which included Mohib Mirza who was fresh off the success of ‘Bachana’, television’s sweet heart Ushna Shah, supermodel  Omer Shahzad, funny guys Mohsin Abbas Haider and Ahmed Abdul Rehman who have proved their mettle when it comes to comedy, and the glamorous Uzma Khan who was last part of the blockbuster ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’. Add to that the prolific sitcom director Jawad Bashir , Summit Entertainment as the producers, a wardrobe partner in Honey Waqar, a very well planned schedule with a release date in mind and it very well seemed like a super hit was on the cards.

But things dont always go as planned now do they. When the first trailer of the film was out it was there for all to see how everything had gone haywire! The color grading was bad, the comedy seemed stale, camera work seemed unimpressive and generally there was nothing working for the movie. However the expectations were still there, albeit low, and  it seemed that the film could redeem itself from this mess by proving that the trailer was just a blunder which would not be reflective of the film.

Unfortunately though now, after having seen the film,  I can say that the trailer was in fact quite on point when it comes to predicting what the film would be like and that the film could not translate into what the vision initially was.  So here is my review where I break it into three parts, the good, the bad and the ugly!

The Good

The music is without doubt the biggest strength of the film. Afzal Hussain and Ahsan Pervaiz have definitely given their best which shows when you give the album a listen. Be it the soulful ‘Qatra Qatra’ or the peppy ‘Dil Jit Lena’, each song adds to the power packed album. Sadly though the picturization of the songs isnt that great, more on that later.

The actors have all done a commendable job and proven that they were the best choices for their respective roles. Mohib Mirza as the tough guy Nael is perfect as is Ushna Shah playing the chirpy Esha. Moreover be it Omer Shahzad , Mohsin Abbas, Ahmed or even Uzma for that matter , who by the way is the weakest link, they all do a great job in the limited capacity they had.

The reason I say limited capacity is because the script and the director failed these talented individuals and despite having great performances couldn’t convert them into a cinematic treat for the audiences. Confused? Well let me explain. For instance assume there is a film being shot and I go to the sets, shoot a video of the actors and play it for you. Although the actors have done a fine job with what they are delivering you wont enjoy it as a film because there will be background noise, the video will be shaky, there will be no post production, my camera angle wont really be that great and well you get the idea. Something similar happened for the film where the technical crew did not deliver and the result was bad video quality , background noise, shaky camera , poor lighting. Therefore even the strong comedy scenes featuring Mohsin Abbas Haider couldn’t elicit laughter because the presentation was bad.

Having said that I must reiterate that the actors all did a great job when it comes to the acting department. Given a better platform to work with Im sure all these actors will go on to show that they are forces to be reckoned with.

The Bad

The script was a bit of a miss. The main premise of one girl, two guys has been done to death and this script just played on the same old tropes and came across as one big cliche! Here is the main premise which I have lifted from the wikipeida page of the film.

‘The film’s plot resolves around Esha (Ushna Shah), a beautiful, stylish TV host who is on an adventurous shooting assignment is accompanied by her shooting crew and friends, the goofy and mischievous Sherry (Mohsin Abbas), Uzma Khan and Danish (Ahmad Abdul Rehman). Esha wants to marry her true love Ramis (Omer Shahzad) but her father (Salman Shahid) is adamant that she marries her childhood family friend Nael (Mohib Mirza). TMLS follows the trio’s adventurous and hilarious journey to finding true love’

The dialogues could have saved the weak script but sadly they were not that great either. The comedy bit was flat as the dialogues specially the comic ones weren’t really funny, barring a few. Furthermore the character of Layla Zubairi which was added for comic relief was anything but funny.  So the script and dialogues were on the weak end.

The Ugly

I remember when I was a young kid there was this Bollywood talk show on where a certain actor was mentioning how the film is made beautiful only because of the cinematographer and how well he knows his work. A young me thought how this didnt make sense for if you shoot at a beautiful place it is bound to look good. I wish I could go back in time and show the younger me ‘Teri Meri Love Story’ where the most beautiful of locations look horribly ugly thanks to the poor director of photography Mr Farhan Golden.

For a film that was promoting itself as one which was all shot in Pakistan there should have been some effort to make sure that Pakistan would be shown in a flattering light. The song ‘Qatra Qatra’ and ‘Ho Gaya Pyaar’ have been shot in some very beautiful locations but thanks to the poor cinematography they look rather bland.

But its not only the DOP who is to blame as the director Jawad Bashir hasn’t fared well either. In the opening scene itself where we see Ushna, Mohsin and Ahmed passing through a tunnel like place and delivering dialogues with extremely poor lighting one realizes how the director is at fault and the entire journey wont be a pleasant one. What’s surprising is that his debut film ‘Maya’ ,which was probably made with a fraction of the budget of ‘TMLS’, was far superior when it comes to direction or other technicalities. Furthermore as mentioned earlier in the review the camera goes shaky at points, the aerial shots are  mostly blurry and on the whole the director and DOP are major disappointments.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Story
Acting
Direction
Music
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I might be an Economics graduate from LUMS, but cinema is where my heart truly belongs. Always up for a discussion on fims and I guess you could call me a Pakistani Cinema aficionado. Email: mominalimunshi@yahoo.com

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