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‘Mimi’ review: Kriti Sanon’s comedy comes with a heart-breaking statistic on adoption

Ambica Sachin /Dubai
ambica@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 29, 2021

Film explores the underbelly of the surrogacy industry in India in a comical fashion

If you are willing to sit through over 2 hours of melodrama, a couple of hip-shaking Bollywood numbers, and a storyline that tackles a serious subject matter like surrogacy and the murkiness surrounding it in a small town in India with a comical twist, then welcome to Mimi.

The Kriti Sanon led comedy-drama, directed by Laxman Utskar (Luka Chuppi) makes it very obvious from the beginning that it is trying to appeal to a wider audience with its comedy and buffoonery.

While some of it sticks, most of it doesn’t elicit any guffaws in a movie that superficially at least delves into the underbelly of the home-grown surrogacy industry in India and how gullible fertile women from small towns are taken for a ride by agents and foreign couples willing to shell out serious money to rent out a healthy womb for their bonafide progeny.

It also says a lot about Indian society’s obsession with fair skin, that when an obviously foreign baby is born to Rajasthani native Mimi (the lissome Kriti Sanon) who harbours dreams of starring opposite a dishy Ranveer Singh in a Bollywood movie, the initial oohs and aahs soon fade into quiet acceptance by the nosey neighbours.

The central plot about a Bollywood-obsessed dancer who rents out her womb to an American couple, lured by the 20 lakhs she desperately needs to establish herself as an actress in Mumbai would seem preposterous if not naive.

But when things don’t go according to plan and the flighty couple leave her holding the baby, Mimi is quick to shelve her dreams and settle into the role of a young mother, saddled with an unwanted baby who looks nothing like her and an unmarried status that she hides from her credulous not to mention extremely liberal parents.

The talented duo Supriya Pathak and Manoj Pahwa do their best as Mimi's parents but they are let down by a wishy-washy script. Ditto with Pankaj Tripathi who plays the friendly taxi driver and agent, Bhanupriya, with aplomb and is a driving force in this comedy.

Even the Scottish boy, Jacob Smith, who plays Mimi’s son Raj, is a natural on screen. Interestingly Jacob was spotted in Goa, where he was enrolled in a local kindergarten, since the pandemic had put a pause on his family's world travel plans.

The eye-opener, though, comes at the end of the movie, when you are starkly reminded that “if orphans were a country of their own, the population would rank 9th in the world.”

We are also informed that more than 153 million children are currently waiting for someone to adopt them.

It is a heart-breaking statistic that cuts to the heart of the matter and hopefully leaves many facing their conscience.

Mimi’s real worth lies in this messaging, which might have got lost in the comic interlude between the characters, but is nevertheless the most brutal take-away from this comedy-drama.

Mimi is currently streaming on Netflix

Mimi

Director: Laxman Utskar

Cast: Kriti Sanon, Pankaj Tripathi, Supriya Pathak and Manoj Pahwa, Sai Tamhankar, Evelyn Edwards

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

author

Ambica Sachin

Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.