'Mimi' Review: Kriti Sanon makes her mark in this otherwise mediocre film about surrogacy
In keeping with the tenets of mainstream Hindi cinema, Mimi showcases the contentious issue of surrogacy with a sentimental perspective than offer any significant insights
In keeping with the tenets of mainstream Hindi cinema, Mimi showcases the contentious issue of surrogacy with a sentimental perspective than offer any significant insights. Young Rajasthani performer Mimi (Kriti Sanon) agrees to rent her womb and bear the child of an American couple Summer (Evelyn Edwards) and John (Aidan Whytock) to make a quick buck and realise her Bollywood dream. But things don’t play out as planned and she has to trade off her ambition of making it big in films for embracing motherhood.
Since the trailer has already let out a lot about the film—based on the Marathi national award-winning Mala Aai Vhhaychy!— it won’t be a spoiler to state here that the pivot on which the story turns—the quest for a “perfect” and “healthy” baby and a faulty medical test—is itself highly questionable. Mimi uses it as a convenient device (there would be no film without it) to drive the plot further and doesn’t return to the matter, nor to the culpable doctor who, in a jiffy, turns things topsy turvy for our heroine.
Anyhow, the erroneous medical examination makes the film swing between light comedy and the other extreme of peak emotions and drama. The attempts to hide the pregnancy, the case of mistaken identities and the confusions lead to some gentle humour as well as melodrama, both of which Pankaj Tripathi (as Bhanu, a driver turned default father of the child) manages to handle in his characteristic easygoing and winsome way. Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Pathak Kapoor, as Mimi’s parents, add heft to the proceedings by their mere compelling presence, as does Marathi actor Sai Tamhankar as her friend Shama. I was intrigued by how the two American actors caught the emotional “sur” of the film quite well, despite coming from an entirely different school of acting and notwithstanding their unfairly and sketchily drawn out characters.
But there’s more than the laughter and the tears and a reliable set of actors. Some bits I can’t resist nitpicking on. Even while presenting a seemingly peaceful picture of Hindu-Muslim co-existence, the film peddles needless Muslim cliches, like indiscreet Muslim men and the easy divorce in the community. When will we get past “talaaq talaaq talaaq”? In fact, there are a few other problematic issues that the film walks a thin line on—racism, colour consciousness, abortion and motherhood for instance. Can we ever escape exalting motherhood in Hindi cinema? Could we ever make films on post-partum blues for a change?
As I watched Mimi and her family and friends go through a trying time, I was wondering about surrogacy itself—the overwhelming obsession with own gene and blood. Why not underscore adoption—be it of kids or stray animals? Thankfully the film redeems itself on that count at the fag end, but after only after making us go through the entire rigmarole.
And yes, not to forget Kriti Sanon and her role of a lifetime. The young actor does get to sink her teeth into a character that makes her go through the emotional rollercoaster, an essential to be regarded as an actor than just a heroine in Hindi cinema. Mimi might well mark that arrival for her.