Movie Review: ‘Mimi’ (Netflix)

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‘Mimi’ arrived earlier than planned on Netflix and Jio Cinema but does it deliver on the small town story with a big message? With Kriti Sanon playing the protagonist Mimi, and Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Supriya Pathak and Manoj Pahwa in the ensemble cast, the Laxman Utekar directorial really promises something very different. With AR Rahman tracks proving interesting as the backdrop and feel of the film, one wonders whether the impact will be as expected.

Mimi (Sanon) is a 25-year-old with Bollywood dreams but, in an aim to make some quick money, she’s lured into being a surrogate for an American couple by Bhanupratap (Tripathi). After a little convincing, she becomes pregnant but when there’s s test done to which confirms that the child has Downs Syndrome, the couple run away, leaving Mimi to explain to her family how she became pregnant and to decide how she wants to move forward with essentially someone else’s child.

From the get-go, Sanon as Mimi is easy to identify with and – even though the pace of the film is pretty fast – you never feel as if you don’t understand her or that the story is going to quick. Sanon’s performance can arguably be called her career best, but she fits into the small town characters so well – be that in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ (2017) or in ‘Luka Chuppi’ (2019), or indeed ‘Mimi’. She’s put on weight for the role of Mimi and this is definitely dedication and it provides a different dimension to her as an actress. She eases through every emotion but she shines through the more emotional mother moments which is needed in this story. Tripathi as Bhanupratap is brilliant as usual – you can place him in any role and he will make it his own and this is no different. He’s the perfect supporting character along with Tamhankar, who also manages to play the character of Mimi’s friend Shama with excellence. Both of these characters bring forward many questions and uncertainties to the fore which may be playing on the viewers’ minds or often prove to be the steer the audience needs. Pahwa and Pathak are also fantastic as Mimi’s parents. Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock as the American couple, Summer and John, are also great in their roles, with Edwards’ Hindi being a highlight in some of the scenes she’s seen in.

Utekar, who has also co-written the story and screenplay, has managed to create a world which lures you in bit by bit. Although ‘Mimi’ can be seen as the typical small-town story which highlight many interesting issues – surrogacy, Downs Syndrome, custody battles – it is portrayed in a somewhat fresh way and as an audience member, you feel for the situation and the characters – which you rightfully should. It manages to strike quite a chord and is heartbreaking in its own way and most of the audience will appreciate that in a world of films which quite often come and go without the bat of an eyelid.

AR Rahman’s music elevates the emotions of the film to a level that only he can lift them to. The songs, such as Rihaayi De, Choti Si Chiraiya and also Param Sundari are perfect fits and give the soundtrack something quite unique for the kind of of plotline ‘Mimi’ encompasses.

If you decide to watch ‘Mimi’, watch it for the emotional rollercoaster it is but, more than anything, it’s Sanon that completely stands out as the coming of age character which she carries off so well. And expect the unexpected… you won’t regret it.

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