Teen Maar is a remake of Hindi Love Aaj Kal that had Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan. Now, that bit of information is out of our way, we can step into the theatre and soak in the magic of Telugu cinema after a long time. Pavan Kalyan is Michael Velayudham who cooks Italian food, eats Italian food and speaks what is passed off as Italian, chases skirts in Cape Town and drives an open top Mercedes coupe. Things change after Michael bumps into Meera Shastri (Trisha) in the elevator and after a couple of drinks in a pub, a smooch by sunset, pops the cliché: “Coffee, tea or me?”
They are sure about each other that they will not get married and are just friends. Sounds new? Yes. But what takes the movie beyond the obvious storyline is the treatment and the narrative style.
When the romance of Michael and Meera is at an end, in steps a stranger Paresh Rawal who goes into flashback mode about a doppelganger of Michael called Arjun in Kashi (Varanasi). The friend starts on about the pristine love he saw when his friend wooed a girl thirty years ago.
In this complex juxtaposition of love then and love now, it is not just commentary on social mores but also on facets of love. Though Michael might meet and kiss the girl on the first date and has notions that border on the playboy-kitschy, he is not beyond seeing the other side of love. And when the friend starts telling about Arjun's love in a different age where it meant just looking at the woman and following her without even talking he is all ears.
Between the apostasy and apotheosis of love stands the doubting man who is pulled in either direction.
Pavan Kalyan sticks to his usual mannerisms and dance steps, but he incorporates new ideas and what we get is a mellower version of Pavan. Though her role is not as well fleshed out as Deepika's in Love Aaj Kal, Trisha grows beyond doll like role she initially essays. She lets her eyes do the talking. Paresh Rawal is riot as a nosey interloper. Ali has a cameo which is a blink and miss role and he creates a laugh fest.
This movie is another shot at giving the multiplex treatment, so, be warned, this movie may not appeal to people who are used to the standard fare dished out by Telugu cinema directors.