Director: Laxman Utekar
Available On: Netflix
What’s Good: Finally a film on OTT which won’t provoke you to keep track of how much time is left for this to end
What’s Bad: It ends…
Loo Break: Only at the risk of missing a gut-busting dialogue/scene of Pankaj Tripathi or a chunk from Kriti Sanon’s remarkable performance
Watch or Not?: I watched this with my 76-year-old grandma & she has approved that it could be watched by any human being alive
It follows the story of a couple from the US, Summer (Evelyn Edwards) & John (Aidan Whytock), looking for a healthy Indian woman to be their surrogate prospect. Their driver Bhanu (Pankaj Tripathi), helps them to meet the perfect girl for the job Mimi (Kriti Sanon). They settle on paying Mimi a hefty sum in return for being a surrogate mother for them.
Dodging a few roadblocks, Mimi decides to do this for her dream of becoming a star in Bollywood. In an unfortunate twist of the tale, the couple end up not taking any responsibility for the kid, leaving Mimi in emotional turmoil. Would she keep the kid or abort it as suggested by the couple? That’s the base on which the second half’s sublime in-the-moment drama is built.
Mimi Movie Review: Script Analysis
Based on the story of Marathi film Mala Aai Vhhaychy (story by Samruddhi Porey), director-writer Laxman Utekar (story co-written with Roshan Shankar) creates this bewilderingly entangled den of emotions revolving around one central plot. This time, Utekar extremes the emotional end of the spectrum, finding a middle-ground excelling his flawed heavy-on-humour Lukka Chhupi. In a little over 120 minutes, Mimi’s world initiates – a contrasting journey of a couple who are emotionally inclined towards having a kid but the protagonist is in just for the money – leading to an emotional growth of an aspiring actress who turns to be an unplanned mother.
It’s Utekar & Roshan Shankar’s screenplay that helps in creating a world for this dramedy to flawlessly jump from one sequence to another. Utekar had his bag full of ammo (actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak) & he could’ve easily created a ‘comedic’ blast. Still, he takes a less-travelled route with Mimi. Backed by a magical score (more on this below) by Rahman, Utekar focuses intensely on emotions at the risk of trading humour off the narrative. This is a similar template followed by Amar Kaushik in Bala, but with riotous humour & here, Utekar has the lead in emotions, music.
Because we’re craving so much for a good comedy, I am not really sure how many of you would welcome the choice of trading off Pankaj Tripathi’s wry humour with the drama. I’m not complaining at all because of how satisfying watch Mimi turns out to be by the end. Akash Agarwal’s camerawork gives the visuals a fresh unbothered vibe. Manish Pradhan’s on-point editing leaves no clutter behind.
Mimi Movie Review: Star Performance
This is Kriti Sanon’s ‘Badhaai Ho‘ moment & my adoration for her during Panipat forces me to scream at you all ‘I told you so’. In the phase of becoming a character, Kriti strips off every inhibition to rise & shine as Mimi. She checks every box from the talk to the walk of her character standing tall (literally) in front of stalwarts like Pankaj, Sai, Supriya & Manoj. She masters not only the quirky side of Mimi but also the more humane one, strengthening the connect with the viewers.
Pankaj Tripathi makes things looks so easy that it’s not even funny anymore. It’s getting out of the hand how this person can literally take a single expression and get laughter for the same. He has reached to a level where all he needs to do is just to appear on-screen. He not only rules the sequences he’s a part of but also creates a certain feeling of ‘glee’ throughout the film every single time. He creates a sense of assurance of how things just can’t go wrong whenever he’s on-screen. This is yet another eclectic addition to the streak of memorable performances.
For the talent Sai Tamhankar possesses, she brilliantly stands out in the sea of solid performances. Despite limited screen space, Sai delivers a purposeful act. Supriya Pathak & Manoj Pahwa are the ones who are hit the most by Laxman Utekar steering towards the drama and not a comedy. They could’ve been more useful if this had taken the ‘Bala’ route. Here, they serve the half-baked purpose of their characters, but that’s not enough for the powerhouse of talent they behold.
Akash Solanki plays the role of Kriti’s younger brother, and one can see how Utekar pens this on the lines of Badhaai Ho’s Shardul Rana (Ayushmann Khurrana’s younger brother in the film). Unfortunately, Akash doesn’t get enough dough to be as impactful as Shardul was. Evelyn Edwards as Summer delivers a knockout performance, one of the best by foreigners in Hindi cinema. She took a course learning Hindi for her role & does a magnificent job without anyone dubbing her lines for her. Aidan Whytock as Summer’s husband John, is just about acceptable.
Mimi Movie Review: Direction, Music
Laxman Utekar does a poignant job at mashing up clever humour with well-written drama. The visible clarity in his vision of treating the narrative helps to create a moving connection with the story of Mimi. He wants you to be emotionally invested in the leading lady, but he also wants you to laugh out loud at her life’s peculiar situations.
AR Rahman is the ‘MVP’ of this talented crew who injects soul into the drama penned by Laxman Utekar & Rohan Shankar. This, yet again, proves how a good background score and songs actually have the power to lift the feel of any film. Yes, Mimi wouldn’t have been as rousing as it’s without Rahman. Straight out of an Imtiaz Ali Film, ‘Rihaayi De’ remains to be my favourite track of all, and the way Utekar uses it for the climax makes it even more special.
Mimi Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Mimi is the biggest surprise of the year. Laced with stupendous performance, a breezy high-on-emotions story, Rahman’s soothing opera, Sanon’s career-best act & Tripathi being classic for the nth time, Mimi is a delightful blend of humour and emotions.
Mimi releases on 26th July, 2021.
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