First the good news, and then the bad. For a film that has taken inordinately long to be made Mere Jeevan Saathi doesn't look dated or drained-out. In fact it exudes a certain positive energy that renders itself well to the balance of kitsch, melodrama and music that director Suneel Darshan strives to achieve in his cinema.
Suneel is in well in-charge here, fleshing out the ambience in sequences that are set-pieces played at a rising pitch.
But....for a film that revolves around music and a musician's life, the songs and music are of a poor quality.
The blame for this must go to Nadeem Shravan who appear to be completely out of the step with the requirements of the theme and the times.
Think of the great musicals about rock stars: Shammi Kapoor in Teesri Manzil and Rishi Kapoor in Karz had such terrific music support from R.D. Burman and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, respectively.
The true-blue musicals have seen their day. What remains is this decently packaged rock-around-the-docks as Akshay copes with two demanding women. Amisha is the one he loves and Karisma is the one who wants him to love him.
The anti-heroine as a predator has been done to bludgeoning death by actresses as varied as Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Urmila Matondkar in Pyar Tune Kya Kiya.
Karisma's obsessive act is watchable. Though she doesn't really get sturdy support from the script(which wobbles more dangerously at times than Karisma's rising voice pitch) she leaves us with the feeling that she retired a little too soon.
This isn't the first time that Akshay plays a man sandwiched between two demanding women. Moving effortlessly away from the comic cosmos of his recent films he plays his role with quite an abundance of native charm.
Here's an actor who has grown more watchable with every passing year. And yes, it wouldn't be wrong to say he prevents Mere Jeevan Saathi from crashing loudly to the ground.
Amisha's sweet oblivious angel's act careens dangerously between ham and cheese. Understandable...when Akshay is the pet squeeze. But the ones who bring down the film's precarious credibility considerably are Gulshan Grover and Ashish Vidyarthi. Their archaic and bland comic villainy grate on your nerves.
Pick up pieces from this fragmented 'shove' triangle if you want to.