I did not, at first, know that Mimi is a remake of the Marathi movie, Mala Aai Vhhaychy. I did a little research after watching the film yesterday since the plot was exactly the same. In that case, I would suggest that you watch the original film instead of Mimi, a dull, emotionless drama.
The story-telling isn’t just unimpressive and dragged but also fails to keep you engaged in any way. Even if you haven’t watched the original film, the way this story is told, it’s very predictable. No part of the story will either make you curious or emotional. For this film, curiosity and emotional involvement of the audience were inevitable. Since the story is not new or fresh, let me quickly tell you what the film is all about in short.
Mimi agrees to become a surrogate mother for an American couple who cannot conceive. In exchange for the child, the couple is willing to pay Rs 20 lakhs to Mimi, played by Kriti Sanon. Since she dreams of pursuing a career in Bollywood by moving to Mumbai, she finds this offer lucrative. All goes well and Mimi gets pregnant. But after a few months, the Doctor informs the couple that according to the tests, the child has Down Syndrome.
The couple then informs Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi), the mediator, that they don’t want the child and Mimi should abort it. By the time Mimi gets the message and tries to talk to the couple to convince them to keep the child as she doesn’t want to abort it, the couple flies back to their country. Mimi then decides to keep the child.
Fast forward to the child being born – The child is absolutely fit and fine. It turns out that the previous test reports were not correct. As Mimi gives up her dream of becoming a Bollywood star for Raj, her son, she starts dancing again. But ye kahani puri filmy hai! The American couple comes across Mimi’s dancing video on Facebook where they see the child with her. Upon understanding that the child is fit and isn’t born with Down Syndrome, the couple comes back to claim the child. At first, Mimi decides to fight the case for Raj’s custody but as her lawyer tells her that she has no legal rights over Raj, it’s difficult to win the case, Mimi backs out. She then decides to give up the child’s custody to his biological parents for his safe and sound future. What happens next is again, as I told you, kahaani puri filmy hai so you can predict the end.
Now, what is missing here? Why does such a poignant and heart-touching story feel filmy? Because it’s not told well. Where the first half of the film is super slow, the second half of the film, which actually should have taken its own time to progress, is rushed. It all ends before it starts. This track of mother not being able to abort the child and then deciding to give up his custody for his betterment is in itself a story that would make anyone cry, no matter how predictable it is. There are some plots that would undoubtedly make you shed a tear, even if you see them in a hundred different films. Mimi fails to do the most easy thing – make its audience cry as they see a Mother separate from her child. You can’t just blame the performances here, the direction too was weak. The way this story is told, you just sit with it and watch it till it ends.
This story was high on emotions but the film was not. It all looked forced and unconvincing. Kriti Sanon, I personally thought, wasn’t a right choice for the film. It felt like she couldn’t understand the depths of that character. From a young, care-free girl who is ready to do anything to accomplish her dream to a woman who now willingly takes a responsibility which isn’t hers in the first place, and then takes decisions that alters the entire course of her life – What a strong character she must be. Strong-headed, strong-willed, yet emotionally vulnerable! That transition was missing in Mimi’s character. The team did work on her appearance to give her a mature look but if the actor doesn’t behave like the character, costume and make-up won’t save it. There was a lot to do in this film but Kriti missed the chance to prove that she is here to stay.
Laxman Utekar, the Director of Mimi already had a film ready in front of him to understand the USPs and also learn from their mistakes, but unfortunately, he too missed the opportunity of making a film that would have stayed back with the audience for a long time.
Verdict? Watch Mala Aai Vhhaychy! instead.
Streaming On: Netflix