Years ago I heard about a movie that was going to star Sridevi and Akshay Kumar. Then I found out this movie was shelved. Perhaps it was wise because I saw Sridevi act with a younger actor before, Salman Khan (Chand Ka Tudkaa and Chandramukhi), and was disappointed with the outcome.
Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin is not that bad of a film, however, it is too old for Bollywood of the 21st Century. The film was shelved and saw the light of day in 2004. To begin with, the dubbing are not the stars of the film. Some supporting characters have their real voices, but it just sounds weird to hear Sridevi and Akshay Kumar in a nasal tone.
The story is quite simple. The village belle, Durga (Sridevi) has married her sweetheart Ajay (Akshay Kumar). He is a cop in the city (I believe this is his 4th appearance as a policeman), and arranges for his wife to come live with him. She is from a small â€śgaonâ€ť, so she talks a bit too much and is very blunt. At the beginning it seems Ajay is embarassed of his wife, but all is well in married life.
Durga is a very strong female persona (probably based on the Goddess Durga). She fights for justice. She makes enemies quickly as she destroys a bar and beats up many goons. The bar belongs to Bharaiv (Anupam Kher). He is a weird man who attacks press editors and harvests kidneys from poor people. Bhairav gets SP Chaurasia (Kiran Kumar) to get rid of her.
So our story continues . . . Durga is friendly and quickly befriends a girl Radha and her brother Ballu (Gulshan Grover). One day Radha is kidnapped and taken to a prostitution ring because she loves Bhairavâ€™s son, Shyam. Durga learns of this and saves her. Just then Chaurasia takes them both in as witnesses. In reality, they are accused in court of being prostitutes (Ajay is conveniently sent out of town to complete an assignment). Durga is labelled a whore and the rest of the film tackles how her name is cleared.
The story works due to one person: Sridevi. She has a true flare for comedy. Her dialogues will make you smile, but unfortunately Akshay Kumar fails in this film. Due to the fact that we have seen him many times as a cop, his role is mediocre and his on-screen chemistry with Sridevi is missing. Other technical aspects that fail the film are: the horrible dubbing, the songs (editing very sloppy), and the overacting of the villains. To top it off, we are subjected to hear Sridevi call Akshay Kumar, â€śSAJANVAâ€ť (meaning DARLING), almost every 5 seconds (very annoying!). Even the climax is hard to digest. Its obvious that the stars did not complete the film so the viewer sees their backs to the camera (someone pretending to be the Durga or Ajay) as they carry a conversation with a side character. This movie wouldâ€™ve been successful if it was a more polished product and released in the early 1990s.
Recommendation to viewers: It has been a long time since I saw a Sridevi film, so I did enjoy the light moments of MBKJN. For all Sridevi fans, watch it once, just for her.