Netflix’s latest release, ‘Mimi’, explores the theme of surrogacy in a conservative society and the emotional upheaval that results from the same.
The film’s premise explores the life of an aspiring actress and dancer, Mimi (Kriti Sanon), whose lack of money holds her back from going to Mumbai to live her dreams.
When an unexpected opportunity comes in the form of a surrogate mother-for-hire and an offer of Rs. 20 lakh, she gives it a good thought.
Delhi cab driver Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi) overhears an American couple, Summer (Evelyn Edwards) and John (Aidan Whytock), looking for a girl to carry their child and is quick to offer his help.
They like the 25-year-old Mimi, and the procedure begins. One day, the doctor-in-charge informs of a complication in the unborn baby, and the couple abandons the idea and leaves India.
Mimi is left alone with her family, who have come to know of her pregnancy and are devastated. Amidst it all, Mimi has to make some crucial decisions in her life.
Will she manage to bring the baby on her own? Can she survive the onslaught of the conservative society?
Kriti Sanon, in the role of Mimi, gives a promising performance, displaying a range of emotions through her eyes and subtle postures. Her characterisation is impactful and justifies her position in the movie.
Pankaj Tripathi, as Bhanu, is brilliant as usual. His character has much importance in the movie. His comic timing uplifts the humorous elements of this family drama while keeping up with the serious base of the story.
Maansingh Rathore (Manoj Pahwa) and Shobha (Supriya Pathak), as Mimi’s parents, and Shama (Sai Tamhankar), Mimi’s singer friend, all serve their roles perfectly and truly elevate the narrative.
The American couple, played by Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock, act out their parts decently, and there is no complaint.
A remake of the 2011 National Award-winning Marathi film Mala Aai Vhhaychy, this commercial representation does justice to the brilliance of the original. It manages to balance the comic element with the serious ones while maintaining its own creativity.
Adapted by Laxman Utekar and screenwriter Rohan Shankar, ‘Mimi’ traverses around many social messages — surrogacy, single motherhood, social conservation, abortion, and brushing take on adoption and woes of triple talaq.
The journey through multiple ideas under the banner of one central piece definitely opens the overall appeal of the movie.
It hits on a crucial message — the plight of surrogacy in India and how many such foreign couples leave the baby and run away. The movie manages to hint at the lives of such surrogate mothers who most times have to opt for abortion.
The performances of all the actors perfectly merge with the narrative. One role that explodes the comic effect is that of Aatif (Sheikh Ishaque Mohammad), whose fleeting appearance helps run the storyline.
The comedy-drama explores the backdrop of each character, even a little, be it Mimi’s friend Shama’s long-gone married life, Aatif’s future, or that of the American couple who have their own struggles.
It is much appreciated that the storyline does not minimise the significance of the supporting roles. Besides that, the dance and the music breaks are well-placed, blending them seamlessly into the narrative.
The negatives play out on the premise of the positives. While Mimi’s character makes a breakthrough with the idea of surrogacy, it doesn’t explore her personal growth.
It minimises an aspiring woman’s role to be only a mother, leaving behind her dreams. This pulls back the progressive storyline by a lot.
Along those lines, while exploring a multitude of topics, there is only minimal character development for many characters who had the potential to offer their own significance.
Like Bhanu’s childless life and its plight could have gotten some time, and so could Shama’s married life, which appeared serious enough to deserve more screentime.
The easy acceptance of Mimi’s pregnancy by her family and society appears too dreamy, far from a realistic approach. It also doesn’t manage to traverse the idea of emotional upheaval that Mimi would have gone through as an ‘unexpected’ mother.
Mimi serves a lot of flavour with its emotions, drama, laughs, and lessons. It is definitely worth a watch. Thankfully, the film still has a lot in store, and contrary to popular belief, the trailer doesn’t reveal everything.
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