The scope for humor in the premise is undeniable. An unpretty boy, Mithilesh (Rajpal Yadav), falls in love with something of a whistle-bait Veena (Rituparna Sengupta), and more stark than any other inequality between them is the good 2-inch height difference.
Veena, like most beautiful people can afford to be, is atrociously innocent, flashes her dazzling smile at the pretense of a spur, and has a mane like a waterfall of ink, which she keeps whisking over her shoulder at photgenic angles. On the other hand, our man, who is already short and dopey, decides that's not enough, and turns self-conscious too.
He becomes a stuttering, muttering, stumbling-over-his-own-feet kind of idiot when he is around Veena, and of course she finds it absolutely adorable. He mumbles absurdities when they chat together and she bursts out into tinkling laughter; he messes with his food and she teehees into her plate; and finally when he nearly grovels to her to keep in touch with him as a friend, she asks him super-bashfully to marry her.
Mithilesh is of course delighted. A Lucknow University librarian by profession, he now spends his days having visions of her walking in clouds. Veena, too, blissfully reciprocates his love. And the cosy twosome get happily married.
Trouble, of course, starts brewing when Darwinian mechanisms kick in. The bigger and better men are thick as flies all around Mithilesh, and seem to be circling around the beaut like a pack of Turkey Vultures. Veena continues to be naivete personified and gets buddy-buddy with all who come her way, while Milthilesh fumes and fumes. You are beginning to worry about him and beginning to expect an explosion anytime, but it never happens in the 2½ hour flick.
His colleague Saleem comes home one day and gets along with Veena like a house on fire. Mithilesh distresses, obsesses and loses many nights of sleep before he comes up with the brilliant idea of getting Veena to tie him a rakhi. It works.
Next comes Akaash (Kay Kay Menon), looking charming enough to give any man a complex, leaving our man with hardly any choice. Mithilesh goes and prays to Lord Shiva, spends hours conspiring, and finally comes upon the plan of sending his wife home for a few days. This works too.
The humor in the movie, like diamonds in the rough, is omnipresent but not impacting. The movie could have excited a million laughs, it could very easily have been a riot. But Main Meri Patni... unfortunately mixes up quiet reflection and out-and-out humor. Either that, or it is entirely too long-drawn.
For a lot of the movie, you are simply sinking deeper into your seat, laughing here-and-there and waiting for something to happen. While anti-climaxes are always welcome and refreshing, this movie does not offer an engaging alternative to the more run-of-the-mill denouement, which it does away with. In the end, you are left with something without much personality. Something headless, handless, legless and eyeless - but different!
Main Meri Patni... ends with a resolved misunderstanding, the nature of which you don't have to be a wizard to figure out. It's touching and it's charming. It's terribly sweet, but most of us are used to a lot more in two hours.
En fin, a movie that had fantastic potential, but doesn't really go as far as it could. In other words, an indifferent movie: Skip it or not, it won't make any difference to it.