June 23, 2024

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Movie Review: Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya (2024)

3 min read

1.5 Stars (out of 4)
Watch Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya on Amazon Prime
Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya (“Got So Entangled in Your Words“) has the makings of a decent movie. What begins as a high-concept romantic comedy about a man in love with a robot takes an insane turn at the end. Not once does it address the logical ethical questions that must be asked of such a relationship.
Shahid Kapoor stars in Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya (TBMAUJ, henceforth) as Aryan, a robotics engineer. His family is pressuring him to find a wife, but he’s more interested in his job. He takes after his single aunt Urmila (Dimple Kapadia), who runs a big engineering firm in the United States.
Urmila invites Aryan for a visit but is called away on an urgent business trip. She leaves him in the hands of her assistant Sifra (Kriti Sanon). Sifra is gorgeous, helpful, and clearly interested in Aryan. He thinks she’s perfect.
After day of flirtatious fun in the sun, the two sleep together. Urmila returns the next morning and drops the bomb on Aryan: Sifra is an incredibly lifelike robot. Urmila invited Aryan to test if Sifra could pass as human, and she did. Aryan was none the wiser, not even while having sex with her.
Angry as Aryan is at Urmila’s deception, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s developed feelings for Sifra. But who exactly is Sifra? She is programmed to read human emotions and respond appropriately, but she has no emotions of her own. Aryan loves her because she’s hot and will do exactly what he wants her to do whenever he wants.
Under the guise of conducting further research, Aryan convinces Urmila to ship Sifra to Delhi to meet his family and see if she can fool them, too. He doesn’t tell his aunt that he’s intending on marrying Sifra if she passes the test.
None of the stuff with his family is very funny. Situations that should spark extended comic sequences — such as when Sifra downloads a virus that erases her memory — are resolved in a matter of minutes. The robotic woman angle should be fertile ground for physical comedy, but that aspect is especially weak.
There are a bunch of ethical questions that needn’t be investigated thoroughly in a comedy but should at least be acknowledged. Sifra is programmed to do what anyone tells her, so where should the line be drawn as to what constitutes an acceptable command and who can issue it? Does she have bodily autonomy? Is it permissible to hit her? (This is plot relevant, sadly.)
Before the end of the story, Aryan will have to chose whether or not to commit to marrying a robot. The way in which he’s forced to do so is chaotic and ridiculous, and the dark turn doesn’t fit with the tenor of the film to that point. Then Janhvi Kapoor appears in an epilogue cameo that is somehow even crazier than the bizarre climax.
It’s a surprise that TBMAUJ winds up being as bad as it is given that it’s co-written and co-directed by Amit Joshi and Aradhana Shah, writers of the charming 2022 comedy Babli Bouncer. That film was thoughtful about the unconventional woman at the heart of its story, as opposed to treating Sifra’s womanhood (or approximation thereof) as immaterial. Babli Bouncer was also much funnier.
Shahid Kapoor and Kriti Sanon share good romantic chemistry and look hot together in the song “Akhiyaan Gulaab” (although the closing credits dance number is kind of a mess). Neither of them perform particularly well during the comedy bits, but that’s probably more of a writing issue since no one else in the film is funny, either. The story setup is so solid and accessible that it makes the sloppy execution extra disappointing.
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