Mimi REVIEW: Kriti Sanon ‘delivers’ her career best performance; Pankaj Tripathi proves why he is the best
Mimi movie cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Kriti Sanon, Sai Tamhankar, Evelyn Edwards, Aidan Whytock, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, Atmaja Pandey, Jaya Bhattacharya
Mimi movie director: Laxman Utekar
Bubble movie rating: 4 stars
Streaming on: Netflix
I have to admit when I first saw the trailer of Mimi, I asked myself ‘Do I really have to watch a 2-hour film?’ No, I had no doubt about the story but it seemed the entire plot was revealed in the short trailer itself, so as I thought. Honestly, I have never been happier about being proved wrong. There is so much more to Mimi than just being a one-dimensional surrogacy story. It is about aspirations, dreams, watching them crumble, and rebuilding yourself. Director Laxman Utekar sets the plot of this dramedy in Rajasthan and uses several elements to build a story that sometimes feels too good to be true but nevertheless tugs at your hearts and leaves you feeling like an emotional mess (in a positive way) by the end of 2 hours and 10 minutes story.
Set in Shekhawati ( a town in Rajasthan), an American couple (John and Summer) are scouting for a surrogate. Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi) happens to overhear them speaking about it and in an attempt to earn extra cash decides to help them without understanding the meaning behind surrogacy. For him, the deal is simple, get the American couple a woman who can be their surrogate and get paid. He even called them ‘maal’ (Netflix translated that into merch but it essentially means things, FYI). Bhanu takes them to an older woman who we are told has delivered around 14 kids already. The couple, however, explains to Bhanu that they are looking for a healthy and fit body like Mimi ( a dancer who dreams of being a movie star) to conceive their Baby.
Mimi is aghast at the idea at first, but after a little bit of contemplation, she gives in. For the first 45 minutes, we know that Mimi turns into a surrogate only for money. Do not forget, her dream is to go to Mumbai and become a movie star. She even speaks to the posters on the wall and flirts with Ranveer Singh‘s poster and abs occasionally. For me, Mimi is a young girl like many of us who is not afraid to dream. When things turn uphill, she takes her time to come to terms with it, but she is strongly driven by emotions. A few months in and the American couple decide to abandon the surrogate after a few complications. The doctor informs Mimi (and to us) how this is a reality for many young women whose story ends with the couple abandoning their surrogate. But Mimi decides to not let this tie her down.
This is where the story changes gears and I have to mention Kriti Sanon outdid herself. Mimi’s despair, helplessness, anger, uncertainty, as she wanders around after knowing that the American couple had abandoned them will make your heart wrench. But, thankfully for Mimi, a few lies here and there but her classical singer dad and homemaker mother support her despite the drama that ensues. What follows later is a series of misunderstandings, lies, heartwarming scenes, and an underlining message.
In a society that is obsessed with the color of the kid, Mimi gives birth to a fair American child leaving everyone with a question that ends with ‘how?’ Well, things cannot be all smooth in the story, right? Mimi experiences a few more speed breaks and heavy bumps before the big climax. It goes without saying that Pankaj Tripathi as Bhanu is exceptional. His comic timing, emotional graph, and ability to make you smile and cry at the same time are remarkable. For me, Kriti Sanon as Mimi shines throughout. To start as a carefree, ambitious girl to the vulnerability displayed by her, we can safely say that Kriti’s graph as an actor has evolved so much. It is safe to say that this is Kriti’s career-best performance for me. I have wept and smiled watching Mimi’s story like it is our own.
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Sai Tamhankar as Shama is the perfect Rachel to a Monica (Friends, fans!). She is a friend you would want in life, a keeper for sure. Supriya Pathak and Manoj Pahwa as Mimi’s parents are a perfect cast.
The screenplay is slightly overbearing at times as it walks on the tight rope of balancing the emotional aspect without making it too serious. It is a blend of emotions, drama, comedy. Except for Param Sundari, songs act as background music to the plot and add to the emotional value. Music has been given by the maestro AR Rahman and is soulful but for me, they work in isolation rather than the film. What I really do take away is the performance.
Watch Mimi for a wholesome experience and grab your tissue, because you will definitely shed a tear or two.