Producer: Dinesh Vijan, Jio Studios
Director: Laxman Uttekar
Cast: Ktiti Sanon, Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, Evelyn Edwards, Aidan Whytock
Streaming on: Netflix, Jio Cinema
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Basically this film which has been inspired by the Marathi original Mala Aai Vhaychay by Samruddhi Porey revolves around the very sensitive subject of surrogacy and sets out to follow an acting aspirant who threatens to replace the like of Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor etc from Bollywood (Kriti Sanon) based in a small town in Rajasthan — who signs up to be a surrogate for a visiting American couple, blissfully unaware of the pros and cons of the social, emotional and legal implications of her decision just because she is lured by an enormous amount of money (Rs 20 Lakhs), promised to her for bearing the child.
The best thing that personally liked about the film is that it sets out to seamlessly oscillate between drama and comedy, without losing its grip even for once almost all throughout the film and very delicately the film also does explain what exactly surrogacy is to all those who are uninitiated, that too in a basic language, which can be easily comprehended by them.
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Among the actors, mention must be made of both Kriti Sanon who skillfully carries off on her shoulders the complex role of Mimi with effortless ease as if she is a seasoned actor though it is only five years since she had made her debut as an actor with Heropanti, and Pankaj Tripathi, (as much a hero on his own right in this film besides Kriti) who proves that he is a seasoned actor by getting into the character of his jovial taxi driver who is appointed to scout for a young girl to be a surrogate mother this foreign clients John (Aidan Whytook) and Summer (Evelyn Edwards).
It is to the credit of the director that though Manoj Pahwa and Supriya Pathak Kapoor play the parents of the female protagonist, they do not go overboard even once and what’s more they leave their own impact even in the smallest roles,lending the roles their own nuances and color of their own. Sai Tamhankar, who plays a friend to Mimi does have her own screen presence though it is Kriti who walks away with the honors in her author backed role.
While Evelyn Edwards as the foreign mother Summer who yearns to be a mother delivers a knockout performance, which, by far till today could be termed as one of the best by foreigners in Hindi cinema, since she had also taken a course learning Hindi for her role & does a magnificent job without anyone dubbing her lines for her. Aidan Whytock as her husband John is just about average.
Backed by a magical score by none other than A.R.Rahman, director Laxman Utekar focuses intensely on emotions though at the risk of trading humor off the narrative. The highlight of the film, besides the performances of almost all of the actors is the incisive and pulsating dialogues penned by Rohan Shankar, who makes every scene in the film interesting to watch and assimilate . Among the other technical accomplishments the film boasts of Akash Agarwal’s precise camerawork which gives the visuals a fresh unbothered vibe and Manish Pradhan’s slick editing which does not at all leave any clutter behind.
On the whole, to sum up, I’d rate Mimi as a film which stands out in the clutter as a touchingly real , different and dynamic film and though it had a premature delivery yesterday because of online piracy, it is an apt birthday gift for its female protagonist Kriti Sanon.