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Updated February 9th, 2024 at 16:43 IST

TBMAUJ Review: Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon's AI-Powered Love Story Is Quirky But Cringe

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya released in theatres on February 9. The film features the story of a robotics engineer who unassumingly falls for a robot.

TBMAUJ
TBMAUJ | Image:Maddock Films/YouTube
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The steady demise of the run-of-the-mill rom-com in Bollywood can very well be credited to the Indian audience expanding their cinematic horizons. However, there is still something quite comforting and uncomplicated about a simple, clean genre film. Unfortunately, the Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah directorial, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya, misses out by a mile on its potential to be just that.

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Hot Take

If you're looking to relive the slightly cringe-inducing nostalgia of the 2010s rom-com boom in Bollywood, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya is a good fit. It, however, is slightly concerning how the film pushes forth the trope of the eternal bachelor - Shahid Kapoor's Aryan Agnihotri - bypassing a real woman replete with flaws to settle for a 'yes machine'.

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Does Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya live up to the hype?

The Shahid Kapoor and Kriti Sanon starrer falters when it comes to script and comic timing. However, the writing for Kriti's SIFRA, short for Super Intelligent Female Robot Automation, is genuinely chuckle-inducing and has its moments.

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 Shahid and Kriti's chemistry is palpable and the biggest selling point of the concept of a human and a robot falling for each other. Watch out for a surprising cameo from Janhvi Kapoor.

Kriti Sanon plays it safe, yet again

Much of Kriti Sanon's filmography screams safe, a mirror of her performances in them. However, the actress was a revelation in Mimi (2021) for which she won a National Award. Kriti as SIFRA definitely comes across as seasoned, but there is infinitely more she could have done in making the role truly memorable besides it simply being the most recent onscreen portrayal of a robot.

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Kriti palpably makes the effort to maneuver the complex reality of being a robot who is seemingly being programmed with feelings. However, the effort is far too evident. One can hardly help but wonder why the actress, who completes a decade in the industry this year, has largely skirted roles that would put the spotlight on her, just as Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya has.

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Shahid Kapoor punches below his weight

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya is essentially the on-screen revival of Shahid the dancer. The last time the actor shook the dance floor was in his 2015 release Shaandaar, post which Kapoor has almost only featured in performance-oriented roles.

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The role of Aryan Agnihotri however, is too simple and trope-ridden to effectively let Shahid shine. The actor barely manages to leave any impact, which is still more than what can be said for the supporting cast, with names like Dimple Kapadia and Dharmendra being brought on board.

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Experimental? Yes. Genre-bending? Not quite

It would be a disservice to compare Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya to genre-defining titles like Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water or the Joaquin Phoenix-led Her, even being unfair to the Bollywood romance. However, the above-mentioned titles are prime examples of how one can effectively sell the concept of falling in love with a non-human.

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Shahid and Kriti's chemistry goes a long way in selling the romance part. However, what the film needed was a significantly more emotional approach in hitting the point home as opposed to the constant reliance on slapstick humour.

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Watch it or skip it?

If sexism, overdone tropes and a characteristically overexcited hero ticks you off, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya is best skipped. That being said, if you don't mind the above, the humour and overall vibe of the film for better or for worse, is nostalgic.

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Bottomline

At best, Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya is a throwback to Bollywood's 2010 rom-com era complete with the good, the bad and particularly the cringe. Kriti's SIFRA is endearing but lacks individuality. Shahid, the dancer, is refreshing onscreen.

Rating: 2/5

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Published February 9th, 2024 at 16:43 IST

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