Main, Mere Patni Aur Woh

The growth of multiplexes across India has had, in addition to making cinema-going a more comfortable and upscale experience, one other unexpected benefit: the rise of the so-called "multiplex films." The idea is simple enough: with punters visiting cinema halls more often, why not offer smaller films in the same multiplex? Slickly shot and edited, these efforts often are leaner and riskier in scope than their masala laden gasbag wannabe-blockbuster counterparts, yet would not exist without their tentpole effect. Khosla Ka Ghosla (Khosla's Nest) is an excellent example of this phenomenon as is Main, Mere Patni Aur Woh (Me, My Wife and Him). The latter deals with the life of one vertically challenged librarian (played by Raghubir Yadav) in Lucknow who, when finally persuaded to get married, finds his to-be wife (Rituparna Sengupta) to be jaw dropping beautiful. Being from the "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member" school, he naturally finds his own self worth taking a beating as his new wife starts attracting attention from his best friend. And then, an old friend of his wife unexpectedly arrives. Hilarity ensues? Tragedy? Dark comedy? Jealous short husband finds crazy way of disposing off wife's former fling! Husband must fend off attentions of unwanted suitors! Unfortunately, much of what happens next is of the tempest-in-a-teapot variety. Damn shame as the whole thing had potential. The buildup and the portrayal of the mind of the to-be married man was really well done.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the production values and, in particular, the non-assuming setting of the film. No frolicking in the Alps here, all the action takes place in middle India, in relatively small cities like Lucknow. From a graphic design standpoint, I have to commend the DVD layout as well. We are all well familiar with the FBI warning when we pop in a disc into our player, but have we seen it quite in this design?

Threats of imprisonment and/or fines have rarely been cuter. That exercise book margin motif is extended to the main DVD menus as well:

And finally, the sheer number of subtitle languages on offer in the DVD blew me away. Take a look:

Fifteen languages! Just for the hell of it, I had the Bengali subtitles on throughout and it was accurate. Anyone out there ready to test Portuguese or Malay?

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- April 22, 2007 11:52 AM // Bollywood , Review