‘Mr. & Mrs. Mahi’ : A Unique Sports Drama about Dreams and Self-discovery

By Dhaval Roy

Story: An average and failed cricketer coaches his talented wife to qualify for the national team. During this journey, the husband-wife duo learns about individuality, chasing dreams, and defeating insecurities.

Review: Sports dramas usually paint the same picture: athletes overcoming odds with their grit and pushing their limits to achieve glory. Director Sharan Sharma takes a refreshing detour in his romantic sports drama, exploring how self-doubt and insecurity can sabotage not only relationships but also dreams.

Sharma, alongside co-writer Nikhil Mehrotra, weaves this message through the story of a failed cricketer, Mahendra ‘Mahi’ Agarwal (Rajkummar Rao), and his doctor wife, Mahima ‘Mahi’ Agarwal (Janhvi Kapoor) — giving the movie its delightful title, which is also a nod to cricketer M S Dhoni. Mahendra, trapped working at his father’s (Kumud Mishra) sports shop, harbours a dream of cricketing glory. Mahima, meanwhile, navigates a demanding senior doctor who bullies and belittles her. Both find solace in their shared passion (cricket) and become each other’s support system.

When Mahendra’s comeback attempt fails, he recognises his wife’s raw talent and becomes her coach, propelling her towards a professional career. However, grappling with insecurity and jealousy, he struggles to be the supportive pillar. The film hinges on whether they can overcome these differences and emerge stronger or return to their old lives.

The movie’s strength lies in its narrative, which builds on a unique premise. It effectively captures the awkwardness of a newly married couple, the training, the matches, and the rift in their relationship. However, the movie has pacing issues, especially in the second half when Mahendra’s internal conflict takes centre stage. Additionally, the super-supportive Mahendra reacting poorly to Mahima’s progress after just one instance feels rushed and unconvincing.

Rajkummar Rao delivers a nuanced portrayal as the suppressed son, the supportive husband, and a man desperately seeking his own validation. His frustration exploding on Mahima and his eventual understanding of true success are particularly impactful scenes. Janhvi Kapoor shines as the initially under-confident Mahima, who finds her identity and pursues her own dreams. Both actors lend authenticity to their characters’ journeys. Kumud Mishra, Zarina Wahab, and Rajesh Kumar provide able support as well.

Mr & Mrs Mahi also celebrates the unsung heroes – the coaches, the spouses – who stand silently behind those who achieve glory. Ultimately, the film beautifully depicts the idea that true victory lies in finding fulfillment within yourself, not in the eyes of others. This tale with a heart is for everyone, and you will come out learning valuable lessons. — Times of India