MIMI

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MIMI

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Director: Laxman Utekar

Starring: Kriti Sanon, Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Supriya Pathak & Manoj Pahwa

Written by: Rohan Shankar & Laxman Utekar

Streaming on: Netflix

MIMI’s story is inspired from a Marathi film  MALA AAI VHHAYCHY, which centers around the concept of surrogacy. The film starts in the year 2013. Mimi Mansingh Rathore (Kriti Sanon) resides in a small town in Rajasthan. She wants to become an actress and for the same reason she wants to move to Mumbai. To achieve that a man named Jolly (Nadeem Khan) asks her to move to Mumbai and pay him a few lakhs to get her portfolio done and even shoot a music video. But she doesn’t have that kind of money and hence to save up she starts doing dance shows. At one such show, a foreigner couple Summer (Evelyn Edwards) and John (Aidan Whytock) happen to see her. They have been roaming India for a year in search of a surrogate mother since Summer can’t conceive; and when they see her they realize she’s the one. They tell their driver, Bhanu Pratap (Pankaj Tripathi) to convince her. In return, they promise to pay him Rs. 5 lakhs to Bhanu. Bhanu readily agrees. He also manages to convince Mimi, especially when she’s told that she’d be paid Rs. 20 lakhs. But a problem arises when she has to hide her pregnancy from her parents, Mansingh Rathore (Manoj Pahwa) and Shobha (Supriya Pathak). So she lies to them that she has got a role and has to move to Mumbai. But she moves to the residence of her friend, Shama (Sai Tamhankar). Bhanu, too, moves in with her and pretends to be her husband. All is going well until a few months later, Summer and John conduct tests which show that the child in Mimi’s womb would be born with Down’s Syndrome. Summer and John are devastated with this development. They conclude that they didn’t sign up for this. They tell Bhanu to inform Mimi that she should abort the child. And without even meeting her, they leave for the USA. As a result, she is devastated and heads home. Her parents are shocked and she lies that the father of the child is Bhanu. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

The main crux of the film is noble and gives a good message, but that isn’t enough if the message isn’t given right or is marred with stereotypes. But at the same time it leaves the message open for argument, especially in the modern times, with respect to a woman’s body and her choice. Here, the makers decided to be pro life and chose to bring a child into the world despite the child said to have some complications. But besides that the film opens on a strong note and more often than not maintains, or at least tries to maintain it. The makers have made sure the film is filled with emotions and unless you have a heart of stone, it will move you, even if it’s just a little bit. The makers have also topped it off with dollops of humour to finish the film of. Could the film have been better? Certainly. One may not agree with the road this film takes but this is the director and the writers’ vision and I can respect that.

Technically, the film is good. Cinematography by Akash Agarwal is superb and he captures the locales of Rajasthan beautifully. Editing by Manish Pradhan is sans complaint. Costumes are authentic, although a *tinge* of stereotype added. The production design was realistic. The writing had scope for improvement. The music by A R Rahaman is disappointing only because of the fact that we expect a much better output from him. But his background score is certainly top notch.

Performances are a highlight of the film. Kriti Sanon has a huge responsibility to shoulder and she does it with great ease. There’s a lot her character goes through and she portrays her role convincingly well. Besides, she has a great screen presence as well. Pankaj Tripathi is a man in form. He is Mr. Dependable in this one again. Sai Tamhankar lends huge support and makes a great impact. Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Pathak prove they’re like clay, yet again. They can be molded any way you require. You ask anything of them and they’ll deliver, without breaking a sweat. The foreigners Evelyn and Aiden are great too. The rest of the cast offer good support.

Director Laxman Utekar could have done better but he delivers an entertaining film nonetheless.

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