Movie Review | Mimi: ‘Kriti’ ka maa ko salaam

Overall Mimi is a heartfelt exploration of love, parenthood and motherhood from unexpected angles, capturing a broad spectrum of emotions

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Mimi critic movie review is here. The 2021 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film is directed by Laxman Utekar. Based on the landmark Marathi 2011 National award winner ‘Mala Aai Vhhaychy’ by Samruoddhi Porey. Kriti Sanon stars in the titular role along with Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock.

Mimi Movie Review

The Baby Maker (1970) by James Bridges where a hippie girl (Barbara Hershey) agrees to have a baby for a childless couple to Lekh Tandon’s remarkable Doosri Dulhan (1983) which went unnoticed starring Victor Bannerjee and Sharmila Tagore who bring home a prostitute played by Shabana Azmi to have their child. Filhaal (2002) by Meghna Gulzar that saw the awesome combo of Tabu and Sushmita Sen creating wonders. The ‘OTT’ Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001) by Abbas Mastan starring Salman Khan and Rani Mukerji who bring home a prostitute played by Preity Zinta to bear their child. Afia chapter in Onir’s anthology I Am that dwelled deeper into the subject of surrogate motherhood.

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Mimi starring Kriti Sanon is the welcome baby to the Bollywood surrogate Mother’s family. Based on the landmark Marathi 2011 National award winner Mala Aai Vhhaychy by Samruoddhi Porey, Mimi is about a happy go lucky dancer in Rajasthan Mimi (Kriti Sanon) who dreams to shine in Bollywood, agrees to be a surrogate for an American couple played by Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock. Cab driver Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi) is the one who introduces Mimi to the American couple. Mimi agrees on a good sum of money that will fulfill her Bollywood dreams and give her a chance to co-star with her idol Ranveer Singh. However, Mimi is unaware of the social and legal complications that may arise.

The laws on surrogacy today in India have changed and non Indians are prohibited to be the intended parents. Surrogacy where a woman (the surrogate) offers to carry a baby through pregnancy on behalf of a couple, and then return the baby to the intended parent(s) once it is born.

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Mimi is based on the 2011 Marathi movie Mala Aai Vhhaychy that time India was a hub for surrogacy for intended foreign parents according to reports.

Those who are aware of the rules might find Mimi farfetched and difficult to believe otherwise for the regular sensible audience Mimi is another example of the great bond between maa, melodrama and Indian Cinema.

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The rules of surrogacy are different in different countries but one thing is common in this scientific boon to humanity – it ‘creates’ a new life, and if done with a pious intent – it’s divine. Nothing is more divine for a woman to be a mother and Mimi is a celebration of motherhood amidst the socio economic complications created by humans that create hurdles in the form of faith, fate, caste, creed, colour, etc.

Writer director Laxman Utekar’s adaptation of Samruoddhi Porey’s Marathi story with Rohan Shankar is filmy yes, but the adaptation is ilmi (read talent, knowledge) in churning an emotionally charged family entertainer with solid performances. Laxman Utekar and his writing partner Rohan Shankar make sure that in their populist endeavour to this surrogacy subject which can travel places and create spaces of its own, leaves its own profound impression. The sly humour where Pankaj Tripathi excels in his first encounter with the Maulvi and the ‘gora’ bacha (child) episode hits the bull’s eye.

The Tapaal, Luka Chuppi fame director Laxman Utekar creates an identifiable milieu and likable characters in Mimi where the circumstances are more evil than humans. Sai Tamhankar says in one of the scenes – zindagi woh nahi jo hum sochetein hai, zindagi woh hai jo hamrare saath hota hai (Life is not what we think, life is what that happens with us) sums it up.

The actors excel over here. Kriti Sanon surpasses herself and registers her finest performance till date. As her name ‘Kriti’ which means creation perfectly syncs with the concept of motherhood, Kriti as an actress ‘delivers’ an outstanding performance that marks her brilliance as a complete actress who can carry a movie on her own.

Pankaj Tripathi never goes wrong and here as the caring cab driver he gets the opportunity to deliver in different shades – funny, sad and anger Pankaj Tripathi is just terrific.

The American couples played by Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock are amazingly natural.

Sai Tamhankar makes her presence felt in a movie dominated by Kriti and Pankaj and that’s not a mean achievement.

Good support comes from Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak.

The climax however for me seemed to be an easy way out but overall Mimi is a heartfelt exploration of love, parenthood and motherhood from unexpected angles, capturing a broad spectrum of emotions through Kriti Sanon and Pankaj Tripathi’s outstanding brilliance. Going for a generous 4. An extra for Kriti Sanon’s salaam to motherhood.

Mimi is streaming on Jio Cinema and Netflix.

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