Verdict: A movie with potential marred by average execution.

There is a lure amongst parents in Punjab to get their daughters married to boys settled outside India. Mahi NRI is one such story of a mother who wants her daughter to get married only to a NRI. The daughter’s lover decides to invest all he has in order to go abroad so he could return as a NRI and get married to her. Does this realistic story transform into entertaining movie? Sadly, no!

Mahi NRI is the story of Reet (Poppy Jabbal) who is in love with Yuvraj Singh Sidhu aka Sherry (Hardy Sandhu). Reet’s mother (Navniit Nisshan) has chosen a NRI boy Johnson for her. When Reet comes clean about her feelings for Sherry before her mother, she refuses as Sherry is not a NRI. Sherry then decides to apply for a UK student visa. Once he reaches there, he discovers that life is not easy and undergoes many hardships to settle down. Will Sherry be able to become a citizen of UK and fulfill Reet’s mothers’ demands and eventually get married to the girl he loves, forms the rest of the story.

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Mahi NRI is primarily an uncomplicated love story. The director has treated the subject in a simplistic manner. He has balanced the two halves of the film with the love story and hardships Sherry faces in UK, respectively. While the first half focuses on the light moments and love story of Reet and Sherry, the second half is when the actual drama takes place. The sequences involving the buildup of Reet and Sherry’s love story, Reet’s mother putting forth her conditions if Sherry wants to get married to Reet, how he manages to get a visa and ultimately lands in Birmingham, make the proceedings interesting. The decisive moment is when Sherry reaches UK as it puts a stop to the merry making, moving to the serious side of the story.

The film loses its grip to an extent post interval. To state that the drama is hardly exciting in this half would be apt. Also, too many unwanted sequences come up regularly. Like Gurpreet Ghuggi’s introduction to the story, Mandy’s fathers’ track, the songs shot in different pubs, all seem to be forcibly added into the story. Once the problems faced by Sherry upon landing in the UK are over, everything goes very smoothly for him, completely in contrast to what viewer witnesses 30 minutes earlier. The film perks up again in the closing reels, when Reet realizes that Sherry is getting married in UK. Thereafter, the narrative, right till the end, grabs your attention thanks to the gripping drama.

Hardy Sandhu makes a comeback after a forgettable debut in ‘Yaaran da Katchup’. He acts decently and emotes well. He is camera-friendly and dances well. However, if he puts in a little extra effort into delivering the right expressions, he would prove to be even more effective. Performances of both Poppy Jabbal and Rameet Sandhu are passable. They make lukewarm debuts. Gurpreet Ghuggi fails to leave an impact. Amongst character artists, B. N. Sharma stands out.

Director Gaurav Bavdankar has written a relatable story but fails to deliver an entertaining movie. He is aided by a taut screenplay (first half), but loses steam eventually. Nontheless, this is a decent debut. Editing (Sanjay Sharma, Vinod Pathak) could’ve been crisper. Music (Arjunaa Harjai) of the film is weak and has nothing to boast about. The airplane track stands out and brings the house down, more because of the lyrics.

Why You Should Watch This Movie
Watch Mahi NRI for a very relatable story that brings forth the true picture of what youngsters go through once they reach a foreign country. It displays the hardships children of every second household face while earning dollars and pounds.

– By Gurlove Singh