'A Beautiful Wife' proves all over again that not everything which comes from the West is always glittering gold. There is nothing at all in 'A Beautiful Wife' (English)/'Spanish Beauty' (Hindi), the dubbed version of 2005 Spanish film 'La mujer de mi hermano', which one hasn't seen in a Hindi movie before. And if steamy scenes were your calling for this film then well, forget it because here there aren't any.
So what exactly is the core of the film which, by means of it's rather unsuccessfully phrased titillating title, tried to entice audience with? Well, nothing but a 'videsi' and far less spicy version of 'Murder' [which by the way was a remake of a Hollywood film itself]. This time around, there is no murder happening but the stream of dispassionate marital life followed by infidelity still runs strong.
Barbara Mori and Christian Meier love each other as husband and wife. However, she leads an unsatisfactory sex life where her hubby gets aroused 'only on Saturdays'. She shares these intimate details with her brother-in-law Manolo Cardona (who, by some stroke of luck, even appears and acts like Emraan Hashmi) who doesn't take much time between calling her 'sis' but does everything with her which is not expected from a brother. Christian does find it out but isn't as mad as one would have expected. Reason? He has his own skeletons stashed inside his cupboard, something that he and his brother Manolo are privy of.
Barbara's attraction towards Manolo, her insistence of 'not doing it' on Christian's bed (but ultimately surrendering), a sense of guilt the morning after, falling down in temptation all over again, rebound love for her hubby due to her wrong doings, getting ditched by Manolo in the need of hour and ultimate solace back in her husband's arms - all of this has been done to death not just in many a Bollywood flicks by now but even television soaps.
What makes the film passable to some extent is Barbara's beauty that at least goes all the way in justifying the film's title. She looks terrific and while there isn't much body display here (sorry, not an ounce of nudity here), her face looks like a million bucks that at least manages to keep one's attention on the screen. She acts well too which keep her positioning of being the central protagonist intact. The men are just about okay though, whether Christian or Manolo. In fact if not for Barbara's presence, the film may well have been termed as a B-grade outing from the West.
An adulterous affair like this could have taken a sleazy route but it doesn't do that. This means that the target audience in India for which the film has been released half a decade after it's making is totally lost. Now let's talk about the class audience which was perhaps looking for some drama. Even for them, there is previous little to offer as one scene after another, you get a strong sense of deja vu.
Overall, 'A Beautiful Wife' hardly turns out to be a passionate outing that one would have expected from it. Disappointing.