Recently I saw most of a Finnish oldie (Suomi-filmi) called Minä ja mieheni morsian (Me and my husband's bride) from 1955. While the movie's a remake of a 1936 film Mieheke (Pretend-husband, a thematic sequel to Vaimoke, Pretend-wife from the same year), in my understanding Mieheke never had songs, which Minä ja mieheni morsian really does. The plot is ripe for comedy of misunderstandings but I wasn't too fond of the movie. I'm guessing the original is a much, much better movie.
But as I was watching I couldn't help but think how awesome the film would be as a Bollywood film (because of the songs and the general comedic plot). If I had a time machine to make it in black-and-white or a 70's light comedic fare would be great (Rishi and Neetu would be just what the doctor ordered) but as I don't, I'm forced to recast with modern actors.
All Bollywood producers reading; technically you ought to credit Hilja Valtonen for the plot outline, but if you must, you can credit me for the free desified version. I accept PayPal and marriage proposals from Abhay Deol; no cash or credit cards, please. I've taken some creative liberties with the original film(s) and left a lot of plot details out.
Okay, so. A company called Malhotra and Son is hiring a new secretary. Knowing the frivolous nature of her husband and her son, the family matriarch Mrs Malhotra (Farida Jalal because this is a "tough mum" role to counterbalance all her "nice mum" roles) has decided that one of the secretary's qualities should be frumpiness. She's decided on a candidate, more or less, when in walks Sita (Sonam Kapoor) for her job interview. Mrs Malhotra is determined not to hire her because she's so beautiful (and thus would be perved on by Senior Malhotra-saab & hit on by Junior Malhotra-saab), until she hears that Sita, with excellent qualifications, is married - therefore unavailable to her to-be-boss' advances.
The problem is, Sita is not married - outside the company building she ran into the younger Malhotra, Prem (Neil Nitin Mukesh) who falls for her instantly. He tells her she won't get the job unless she says she's married, which Sita takes to heart, leading her to the lie.
Mrs Malhotra, however, insists to see Sita's husband, who Sita hastily lies is currently unemployed. Outside the company, Sita first tries to convince Prem to pose as her husband, but naturally Prem's mother wouldn't buy the lie at all. Sita lies her husband is inside a near-by restaurant, where she then asks the waiter for "Mr Sharma". The waiter tells her there are several Mr Sharma's currently seated in the restaurant, so she calls out the name and three men stand up. She eyes them in desperation and chooses to walk to the youngest, most handsome one, Santosh Sharma (Shahid Kapoor but lots of others could work in this role, basically anybody older than Sonam but younger than the close-to-or-over 40 batch of actors), an architect who also happens to be Prem's best friend.
Santosh is confused by the situation but goes along with it, seeing his friend's tough maa. Later in private, Sita thanks Santosh for going along with the act, but says she can spin a story about getting divorced so they don't have to pretend anymore. This is before they hear how much Mrs Malhotra disapproves of divorce, and so they're forced to continue with the charade, and eventually grow closer and more and more fond of each other. Sita works at the company while Prem, desperately in love with her, tries to convince Sita to date him instead of Santosh, but is too chicken to tell his mother about the fake marriage.
The plot thickens when news arrive that Santosh's fiancee Madhuri (Lara Dutta but my second choice Neha Dhupia would work splendidly as well), a successful singer, is returning to India after a long tour and is finally ready to settle down with him. Her arrival is highly publicized and a picture of her and Santosh is printed in the papers. Mrs Malhotra sees it and put on the spot, Sita lies that Madhuri is in fact Santosh's long-lost sister. A ton of comedic hijinks ensue while Sita and Santosh realize they love each other, try to keep their pretend-marriage together while working out of it to admit their true feelings to each other and the people around them!
If we must, there is a comedic plot strand involving Mr Malhotra Senior's brother who comes from another state and has a very down-to-earth, funky accent (in the Finnish original he was from Eastern Finland, in this ..Gurajat? Punjab?) and how he clashes with his sister-in-law (aka Mrs Malhotra). And if you so wish, there can be a secondary coupling where Madhuri is uncharacteristically taken in by the hapless Prem and they fall in love.
So.. Main aur Mera Pati ki Dulhan (direct translation of the Finnish original title), in theaters whenever somebody decides to make it & release it. Ball's in your court, Bollywood!
For more Finnish film blather check out: Finnish films that remind me of Indian films.