REVISION: The 25-year-old hopes to fulfill her ambition of becoming an actress in Mumbai, using the huge money (Rs 20 Lakhs) that she was promised to have the child. Things are progressing according to the ambitious plan of our rebellious protagonist, although to a certain extent. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, after all. A potential danger to the health of the fetus leaves everyone in shock. Dreams are shattered, until they are no longer.
Surrogacy, an arrangement in which a woman (the surrogate) offers to carry a baby during pregnancy on behalf of a couple and then return the baby to the intended parents once it is born, has been restricted in India for a reason. Infertile couples from foreign countries who frequent India to find a suitable surrogate to have their child is a practice that is largely prohibited given the ethical and social implications.
Based on the acclaimed Marathi film ‘Mala Aai Vhhaychy!’ by Samruoddhi Porey, Mimi is cleverly adapted by Laxman Utekar. He, along with screenwriter Rohan Shankar, ensure that the Hindi film has its own character and identity, while retaining the essence of the original. The infusion of situational comedy can oversimplify surrogacy in the opening parts to extend its reach to the masses. But nowhere does it trivialize the problem or make it seem frivolous, which is often a common problem in commercial remakes. Utekar entertains but not at the cost of sacrificing substance. The traps of unexpected motherhood and life find emotional weight in her storytelling. The arcs and captivating character performances elevate the seemingly predictable storyline. The film swings seamlessly between drama and comedy, without losing control.
Mimi offers a lighthearted but heartwarming version of surrogacy and its aftermath. It even cleverly leads people to adoption. However, there is a catch here. The movie has good intentions, but the adoption segment takes an idyllic and unrealistic approach to securing closure and that can be misleading. There is already a lot of misinformation about the adoption process in our country, and a certain part of the story adds to the cesspool of inaccurate facts. Masquerading as cinematographic freedom is difficult to digest.
Having featured a variety of interesting characters before, with Mimi, Kriti Sanon marks her arrival as a solid actress who can run a movie on her own. Her eyes speak of anger and anguish with a certain calm, a mark of a mature performer. Another actor co-headlining the film along with Kriti is the brilliant Pankaj Tripathi. He is as much the hero of the movie as Kriti. From referring to potential substitutes as ‘maal’ to relentlessly fighting for Mimi’s well-being, Tripathi delivers another standout performance. His comic moment and his expression of the visible gap between privilege and poverty is compelling. Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, and Sai Tamhankar are effective in their important roles. The actors who play the American couple, Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock, are decent too. His characters are not one-dimensional, which is refreshing.
A complete family cheerleader after a long time: Mimi chooses a relevant topic and turns it into a captivating, empowering and compassionate story about humanity and motherhood.