Teree Sang, alleged to be Satish Kaushik's Hindi take on Chitram
, is a typical example of what could have been a beautiful work of art. In fact, for a bold theme involving teenage pregnancy, it is, to his credit, a sufficiently engaging flick. Maybe it's the sheer joy of watching Neena Gupta back on screen after eons (even if in a supporting role), or maybe it's the unexpectedly sensitive handling of the subject by a hopelessly under-promoted film that can't decide if it's art or commercial - the film does end up as heart-warming fare for someone starving for some.
What goes wrong, then, is that all that wasn't enough. Neither the performances, nor the sensitive handling. Teree Sang misses the boat because it shows this constant desperation to get the point across, which he always wants to do now
. Also because Satish Kaushik clearly dealt with a low budget, and left out some quality writers for this one.
Kuku aka Kabir (Ruslaan) and Mahi (Sheena Shahabadi) are 17 and 15, respectively, and meet at a party in which the boys are lusting for the rather skimpily dressed girls. Kuku is the son of doting parents - an autodriver (Satish Kaushik) and his wife (Sushmita Mukherjee) - who scrimp to send the boy to a government school. Mahi is the grossly neglected daughter of wealthy parents, a famous advocate Mohit Puri (Rajat Kapoor) and his wife (Neena Gupta).
Mahi finds Kuku and his life endearing and fun, and constantly seeks out his company to assuage her own loneliness. So at New Year's, after a round of champagne, our puppy-lovers let biology take over rationality. Mahi, after a few days, discovers she's pregnant. And this is on the day her father snidely insults the bunch of low-maintenance guys she hangs out with simply because she hangs out with them.
After Puri blows his top, the couple elope to a hilly town and set up home there. They run out of money, but try and work up enough to keep their little family happy for three trimesters. Meanwhile, Puri is busy badgering Kabir's parents about Mahi's whereabouts, and ultimately even broadcasts to the whole nation that Kabir has raped his daughter and kidnapped her, and that she's missing. Kuku and Mahi are forced to leave their new home after people of the town discover that he's the guy whose photo is flashing all over TV.
Satish Kaushik manages to tell a pleasant story, and some of the scenes are impressively built up. However, there's a glaring lack of intellect at several places, starting from the amateurish romance, and further, when the film rushes through the motions of how the parents deal with the whole issue.
The characters, too, are unfairly stereotypical - the richer parents don't have time or sensitivity, and buy their daughter's affections through money (they're out of town for her birthday, but gift her a credit card when they return), and the poorer ones are just the opposite. And Mahi has just two moods throughout - morose in the scenes with her parents, and unnaturally chirpy otherwise.
Sheena and Ruslaan hog the reels, and it is the former who's more talented between the two. Ruslaan, who resembles Uday Kiran a lot in some shots, is quite awkward with the expressions and the dialogues. Neena Gupta is the best of the cast, and Rajat Kapoor and Satish Kaushik are second in the list. Sushmita Mukherjee goes overboard with her doting mother act.
The visuals are okay, but the music is quite the unwanted interruption to the story.
In all, Teree Sang is a cute flick, and about alright in letting you have a good time at the theatre, but 'alright' is not enough in the presence of the formidably heavy-duty blockbusters around.