Even though the movie deals with a subject that has got various dimensions in the modern world, Laxman Utekar’s Mimi is a very simplistic movie that wants to entertain and educate. And it will be fair to say that Mimi is not going to change anything here as the simplistic nature makes the movie more of an entertainer rather than an impactful social drama. The humor is really good, and with performers like Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, etc., giving solid support to Kriti Sanon, Mimi is a passable predictable flick that eventually manages to put a smile on your face.
John and Summer, an American couple, are in India to find a surrogate mother. Their taxi driver Bhanu decides to offer them help, and when the couple liked a dancer from Jaipur named Mimi, Bhanu decides to convince her. Initially hesitant, Mimi agrees to do it simply because of the money on offer. But midway during the pregnancy, the couple backs out from the deal, and that leaves Mimi in a devastating situation. How she faces society and her family after that is what we see in Mimi.
The movie is actually placed in a tricky space when you sort of analyze it politically. Sara’s, the new Malayalam movie, sparked some conversations, and in some ways, that movie was talking against the glorification of motherhood and also about the choice factor. Mimi is inclined towards worshipping the idea of motherhood. But it isn’t doing that in a regressive way. At one point, Bhanu is telling John and Summer about the sacrifices made by Mimi to raise this kid. What Mimi does here as a surrogate mother in order to protect her child might not be ethical, but there is a mighty flaw from the side of the kid’s parents as well. So if you try to look at the correctness of the whole situation, it’s very clumsy.
Laxman Utekar and writer Rohan Shankar aren’t deep diving into the idea of surrogacy. So the movie can’t be considered an effectively educating entertainer similar to a Vicky Donor. The significant focus on situational humor does make the movie a very light one. But towards the end, the film is all heart, and you do tend to forget about the many aspects of the core idea that the makers have ignored or never bothered to address. The dilemma through which the characters are going through in the last half an hour of the movie is problematic and real. You will be rooting for the title character for sure, but there are ethical and emotional reasons here that solidify the conflict. AR Rahman’s terrific album helps the movie enormously, especially in the second half, where the tone shifts from humor to sentiments.
With that slang and attitude, Kriti Sanon transforms into that excited and ambitious small-town girl very effectively, and the post-pregnancy shift in the performance was also really good. The always reliable Pankaj Tripathi handled the humor effortlessly, and even in those emotional patches in the last half an hour, he instilled a sense of believability into that character. Sai Tamhankar as Shama was very subtle in terms of performance, and at times I felt her perspective on the whole thing resonated with the audience. Most of the time, the reaction shots of Shama represented our reaction towards that scene. Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Pathak were memorable as Mimi’s parents.
Mimi is that feel-good social drama that follows the pattern we have seen in the recent small-town stories in Bollywood. Even though we aren’t getting an in-depth take on the concept of surrogacy or an unpredictable story, there is an element of goodness in the film, and that makes it a likable film in totality. Usually, in movies, they push the revealing of all the confusions towards the end. But in Mimi, they do that almost half an hour before the climax, and I hope the positive consequences they show in the movie influences some people in real life to clear the confusion.
Even though we aren't getting an in-depth take on the concept of surrogacy or an unpredictable story, there is an element of goodness in the film, and that makes it a likable film in totality.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended