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Mr. and Mrs. Mahi movie review - Rajkummar Rao-Janhvi Kapoor's partnership fails to score, gets bowled over in slow innings

Mr. and Mrs. Mahi movie review: Caught and bowled, the film misses the boundary, with Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor struggling to hit the mark.

Mr. and Mrs. Mahi movie review - Rajkummar Rao-Janhvi Kapoor's partnership fails to score, gets bowled over in slow innings
Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor in Mr and Mrs Mahi

Last Updated: 11.09 AM, May 31, 2024


Mr. and Mrs. Mahi Movie Review

Mr. & Mrs. Mahi story:

The doctor Mahima (Janhvi Kapoor) and the former but failed cricketer Mahendra (Rajkummar Rao) meet through an arranged marriage. They get together, tie the knot, and become Mr. and Mrs. Mahi, as they have the same surname. They quickly realise that cricket is their shared interest. Over time, Mahendra notices that his wife has a natural ability for cricket. He supports her ambition to become a cricket player and coaches her as she pursues it.

Mr. & Mrs. Mahi review:

Remember Nitesh Tiwari's Bawaal, which became infamous for comparing Nazi extermination camps to relationship problems? The film revolved around Varun Dhawan's portrayal as a bad husband, refusing to acknowledge Janhvi Kapoor as his coy wife after witnessing her suffer an epilepsy attack. Why am I talking about Bawaal here, you ask? Well, the coy Janhvi Kapoor stays, and Mr. and Mrs. Mahi seems like a spin-off story to her Bawaal character. 


Writers Nikhil Mehrotra and Sharan Sharma could have kept the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mahi simple and breezy, but they chose to complicate it, unaware that it would resemble a test match in a T20 context. Yes, the film is only two hours and 20 minutes long, but it felt like three hours, as they crafted each minute to have a distinct feel. Even when the interval block approaches out of nowhere, the dead ball sustains, and the film didn't even make a single run, pun intended! 

The story begins with Mahendra (Rajkummar) playing cricket at his coaching centre when the selection committee comes for the match. However, we see that "cricket is life and life is cricket" for him, so he will go to any lengths to achieve his dreams. However, his dreams quickly crumble, and the next scene finds him seated with his father (Kumud Mishra) at their sports goods store. Every now and then, his dad curses Mahendra for being "good for nothing," which steadily lowers his morale.

But that doesn't stop his parents from having his marriage arranged with a doctor, Mahima (Janhvi), who only sees honesty in Mahendra and chooses him as his life partner. Thus begins their journey of love and getting to know each other, which typically ends in cricket. I won't delve into the storyline of how they transition into professional roles as coaches and players, as the film has included unnecessary details.

However, in the process, the story doesn't land anywhere, and we have to wait for the second half for something meaty to happen. Does it? I felt like I was compelled to read Rachel's 18-page (front and back) letter to Ross in Friends, where the only question that mattered in the end was his acceptance of full responsibility for their relationship's failure. However, they had to continue the show for seven more seasons. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. Mahi, the purpose was only defeated before the completion of the second act of the film.

Having Mahendra as a flawed character still reeling with his childhood trauma of living according to his parents, basically daddy issues, is all fine, as it's important to get over the Baghban syndrome, which we have witnessed for two decades. However, Mr. Mahi would have been a more fitting title for the film, given that Mrs. Mahi serves only as a catalyst for resolving his issue and ultimately becomes a mere puppet.

In one scene, Mahima's dad asks Mahendra if he was aware of her decision to become a player, citing that she is not "allowed" to decide this on our own. On the other hand, when Mahima becomes a player, Mahendra's obsession with proving to the world that he is the coach forces him to make decisions on her behalf. Where's Mahima in this anyway? Isn't it too old-school to not acknowledge women's aspirations in popular culture? Why are they still the sufferers while not being ready to ego-massage the men?

Even if the background is cricket and they have marketed it as a love story, nothing eventually adds up. Yes, it's a known fact how the film would end, and nowadays the films are just a tease of "The Beginning" and not "The End."

When it comes to performances, there's no doubt that this film was a cakewalk for Rajkummar Rao. The actor has done the toughest of the toughest roles in his career, and Mr. and Mrs. Mahi is just another warm-up for him. The actor flawlessly portrays a character who endures constant taunts and lives in fear due to his father before transitioning into an alpha man who vents his frustrations on his wife.

On the other hand, for Janhvi, this is her second outing with Sharan Sharma after Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which cemented her as a performer in the movies. However, despite her challenging role back then, Sharan Sharma only acknowledged her as a character, except for the cricket scenes where she showcased her learned skills. She could have done more, but unfortunately, it felt like an extension of her Bawaal role.

Moreover, Kumud Mishra has a pivotal role in the film as a tough father, which comes as a welcome change after playing a lovable dad in the past few memorable films. The actor is undoubtedly a treat to watch, and you will also feel the pain Mahendra feels when his father hits him with harsh words or even a slap.

However, in terms of writing, Mr. and Mrs. Mahi lacks the X factor that the creators believed would make the film successful. It ends up in some sort of Mr. Mahi vs. Mrs. Mahi, and why would you have to bring a battle of the sexes when the common dream shared is the same? 

Meanwhile, the songs in the film are a saviour because they are soothing to the ears, and it's quite a decent album, a rarity in Bollywood nowadays.

But Mr. and Mrs. Mahi, which had a promising premise, fails on many levels, so to speak.

Mr. and Mrs. Mahi verdict:

Mr. and Mrs. Mahi aims for six but barely reaches the boundary, caught in a tangle of outdated gender roles and convoluted storytelling. The film plays more like a test match than a T20 thriller, dragging through its run time without scoring high on engagement.

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