Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna aspires to be a moving drama about marital fidelity, but it lacks the emotional maturity to achieve its goal.
The movie focuses on the troubled marriage of Australian residents Samir (Salman Khan) and Raina Khanna (Kareena Kapoor). Samir, who is depressed because he can’t find a job, distances himself from Raina, who’s worried on his behalf. He decides that his only option is to leave Melbourne and try his luck in Singapore.
Raina is sad about leaving her friends and her job as a waitress, but she goes to the airport with her husband. There, he springs the news on her that she won’t be joining him in Singapore. Instead, she’s going to live with his disapproving parents in Delhi. The movie never explains why this is necessary; the decision only serves to prove that Samir is controlling.
Raina decides not to board the flight to Delhi. A waiter at an airport cafe, Akash (Sohail Khan), helps her start her new, solo life in Melbourne. Raina declares that she’s just killing time until Samir makes his fortune and returns for her, but Akash falls for her anyway.
Here, Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna takes an audacious turn: nothing unexpected happens. There are no twists, no moments where a character makes a life-changing decision. Samir succeeds and returns for Raina, and she goes with him. That’s it.
I don’t feel bad revealing those plot details because the movie is very clear about what is going to happen. Raina never — not even for an instant — expresses the slightest romantic interest in Akash. She doesn’t even realize he has a crush on her. If she did, it would force her consider him as a sexual partner, thereby destroying the image of the ideal woman that Raina is supposed to represent: somewhat independent but unquestionably devoted to her husband.
The characters lack depth not just from the way they’re written, but also from the way they are acted. When Akash reveals the pain he felt when his parents divorced, Raina responds with an inappropriate smile.
Debutant writer and director Prem Soni has a lot to learn. (Lesson #1: Why comic barnyard sound effects have no place in a relationship drama.) This first effort is a bland movie full of emotional simpletons. I fear that, if Soni wrote an adaptation of The Little Mermaid, the story would read like this: “A mermaid wanted to become a human, so she did. The End.”
*In its opening weekend, Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna earned $121,134 in U.S. theaters.