Mimi (2021 Hindi film)
Mimi is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film written and directed by Laxman Utekar and co-written by Rohan Shankar. A remake of the Marathi film Mala Aai Vhhaychy! (2011) by Samruddhi Porey, it is jointly produced by Dinesh Vijan under his banner Maddock Films and Jio Studios, and stars Kriti Sanon in the titular role a young woman who opts to be a surrogate mother for a foreign couple. Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, Evelyn Edwards and Aidan Whytock feature in supporting roles.
|Directed by||Laxman Utekar|
|Written by||Story and Screenplay:|
|Based on||Mala Aai Vhhaychy!|
by Samruddhi Porey
|Produced by||Dinesh Vijan|
|Edited by||Manish Pradhan|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
Mimi was shot predominantly in Mandawa, Churu and Jaipur, barring a few days in Mumbai. The score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman, with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya; cinematography and editing were respectively handled by Akash Agarwal and Manish Pradhan, the latter of whom had also edited Utekar's previous Hindi film Luka Chuppi, which had also starred Sanon as lead.
Following the non-existent theatrical releases due to COVID-19 pandemic, Mimi was later planned for a digital release through the streaming services Netflix and JioCinema, with the scheduled date of 30 July 2021. However, the film was released through the platforms on 26 July 2021, four days before the scheduled release as the film was released accidentally by Jio Cinema and went into torrent sites. The film received mixed reviews from the film critics, who praised Sanon and Tripathi's performance, with many stating the role as the career best performance of Sanon but criticized the film for its contrived plot.
John and Summer are an American couple who cannot conceive, and are visiting Rajasthan in search of a surrogate mother. They come across Mimi Rathore , a local dancer, and feel that she would be the perfect surrogate mother for their child. They convince local taxi driver Bhanu Pandey to recruit Mimi to be their surrogate, with the promise of ₹20 lakh (US$27,000). Mimi, who has aspirations of stardom in Bollywood and go to Mumbai but does not have the financial means required to chase her dreams, agrees after initial hesitation. The IVF procedure is successful and Mimi becomes pregnant with John and Summer Child . In order to hide the pregnancy from her parents, Mimi lies and tells them that she is going to Mumbai for 9 months for the shoot of a film. She starts living with her Muslim friend Shama. Bhanu is asked by John and Summer to take care of Mimi while she is pregnant.
A few weeks later, a routine check-up reveals that Mimi's unborn child has Down Syndrome. This news devastates John and Summer and they abruptly leave for America telling Bhanu that they don't want the baby anymore and suggest Mimi abort it. Upon learning about this, Mimi is disheartened but rejects the idea of abortion and decides to carry the child to term. Mimi, who is now visibly pregnant, returns home and lies that the child belongs to Bhanu when asked about the father of the baby. This causes its own set of problems, as Bhanu has a wife in Delhi who hasn't seen him for months. Mimi gives birth to a healthy and fair boy named Raj, revealing that the earlier test result was a false positive. When she and Bhanu's mother show up in Rajasthan at Mimi's home, chaos and confusion ensue. Eventually, Mimi comes clean about the surrogacy, and her child is accepted by her parents and family.
Mimi becomes deeply attached to Raj and sacrifices her Bollywood aspirations to take care of him. Shama and Bhanu continue to be a major part of Raj's life as he grows up in Mimi's home, doted upon by Mimi's parents. However, four years later, John and Summer return to India after seeing a video of Mimi and Raj online. They tell Mimi that they've changed their minds about the baby and want to take Raj back to America. Mimi confronts Summer and saying that Raj is her child now and she won't give him back but John threatens legal action as Mimi had signed a contract for surrogacy and has no legal right over Raj as long as she was paid for her services. Bhanu and Mimi's parents prepare to fight it out in court, but Mimi rejects this notion and decides to give Raj back to John and Summer as she doesn't want Raj to face the struggle of court cases. On the day of John and Summer's flight back to America; Mimi, Bhanu, and her family meet them the couple to send Raj off with them, but are surprised to see John with a child, whom Summer claims to be their daughter. It is then revealed that while coming back from Mimi's house, the couple came across an orphanage and felt a connection with Tara, who they saw crying from behind the orphan gate, and decided to adopt her. Summer explains how after seeing Mimi with Raj, she realized that parenthood has nothing to do with blood but everything to do with love and care. They leave Raj with Mimi and her family, recognizing that he is her son in every practical sense and belongs with her.
- Kriti Sanon as Mimi Rathore: A small town dancer with dreams to make it big in the film industry; Raj's surrogate and adoptive mother
- Pankaj Tripathi as Bhanupratap Pandey: A driver by profession; Rekha's husband; Mimi's friend; Raj's adoptive uncle
- Sai Tamhankar as Shama: Mimi's best friend; Raj's adoptive aunt
- Manoj Pahwa as Mansingh Rathore: Shobha's husband; Mimi's father
- Supriya Pathak as Shobha Rathore: Mansingh's wife; Mimi's mother
- Evelyn Edwards as Summer: John's wife; Raj's biological mother; Tara's adoptive mother
- Aidan Whytock as John: Summer's husband; Raj's biological father; Tara's adoptive father.
- Jaya Bhattacharya as Dr. Asha Desai: Mimi and Summer's doctor
- Jacob Smith as Raj Rathore: Mimi's adoptive son; Summer and John's biological son
- Atmaja Pandey as Rekha Pandey: Bhanu's wife
- Nutan Surya as Kaikeyi Pandey: Bhanu's mother
- Sheikh Ishaque Mohammad as Aatif: Mansingh's student
- Pankaj Jha as Dilshad
- Narottam Bain as Farookh Shaikh: Tailor
- Gyan Prakash as Maulwi: Shama's father
- Anil Bhagwat as Lawyer Bharadwaj
- Nadeem Khan as Jolly
In April 2019, The Times of India reported that Kriti Sanon will lead in a film that will revolve around surrogacy. Dinesh Vijan's production house Maddock Films was reported to back the project. The film was officially announced in August 2019 followed by a poster release and Sanon and Pankaj Tripathi were reported to feature in lead roles. It was further confirmed to be based on the Marathi film Mala Aai Vhhayachy (2011). In an interview with India Today, Dinesh Vijan stated that Mimi was a tale based on true events unlike poignant stories. For him, the film explores a beautiful relationship between a woman who never wanted to be a mother and one who can't wait to be one. The unexpected part was called "humor" in storyline by him. Sanon added: "You will have a lot of humour and situational humour. At the same time, there are a lot of characters you will take back home." For Sanon, Mimi was the film which she signed hearing the idea but not the script. Later, realising that the role has a lot to offer to her as an actor. She gained fifteen kilograms of body weight to fit into the character of a pregnant woman. In an interview with Hindustan Times, she was quoted: "We had to shoot the pregnancy scenes and Laxman Sir was very clear that it was necessary to gain weight for those scenes because he didn't want the character to have a chiseled face". Actress Sai Tamhankar was roped into playing a pivotal character in the film, sharing screen with Tripathi. She was reported to play a Muslim woman from Rajasthan, hence learnt Urdu as well as the Rajasthani dialect for her role. It was majorly inspired by Malayalam movie Lucky Star.
Principal photography commenced at Mandawa, Rajasthan by 29 October 2019. In an interview with Filmfare, Sanon confirmed it to be her first film where the protagonist is a girl. By December 2019, the team had completed 40% of the film's production. The next filming schedule was planned from February 2020 for 30–40 days. Filming took place in Jaipur on 10 February 2020, where makers finished shooting major sequences within 4 March 2020. Reportedly, a few days filming was stalled due to COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown in India. In June 2020, Utekar confirmed that five days shoot was pending which included an introductory song featuring artists from United Kingdom. The song (later deciphered as "Param Sundari") was planned to be filmed by January 2021. He added that owing to the pandemic situations, big crew and cast traveling back to Rajasthan was not feasible. The international cast was called to Mumbai for the shoot as they were required for the continuity of the film. By May 2021, it was revealed that the entire shooting process has been completed.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||16 July 2021|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music India|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A. R. Rahman chronology|
The original score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman and featured lyrics written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. Vipin Nair of Music Aloud wrote in its review that "the soundtrack had fairly low expectations, but it had thrown up a surprise with a very diverse and engaging set of songs" and gave 3.5 out of 5. A critic from The Humming Heart gave a score 8 (out of 10) and said "Mimi may not be a top-shelf Hindi mainstream soundtrack of AR Rahman. But, this is a lovely low-key album with tunes that might pay off with revisits in the years to come."
|1.||"Param Sundari"||Shreya Ghoshal||3:20|
|2.||"Rihaayi De"||A. R. Rahman||6:05|
|3.||"Yaane Yaane"||Rakshita Suresh||3:24|
|6.||"Choti Si Chiraiya"||Kailash Kher||4:35|
|7.||"Rock A Bye Baby"||Julia Gartha, Khatija Rahman||3:45|
Producer Dinesh Vijan had planned for a theatrical release in March 2021 after his production Roohi, which was the first mainstream Hindi film to have a theatrical release post COVID-19 pandemic. However, following the nationwide lockdown due to rise in COVID-19 cases and the second wave of the pandemic, the makers planned for a digital release in May 2021. The film was distributed worldwide by Netflix and JioCinema (the digital platform for Jio Studios, which co-produced the film) additionally distributed the film in India, with a scheduled release date of 30 July 2021. However, four days before the release, the platform JioCinema released the film earlier for few minutes on 26 July 2021, and resulted in online piracy as it was made available for torrent sites and illegal movie streaming platforms. To counter piracy, both Netflix and JioCinema premiered the film on the same date instead of 30 July.
Upon release, Mimi received mixed reviews from the film critics, who praised Sanon and Tripathi's performance but criticized the film for its contrived plot. Besides, the film is more liked by the majority of Indian audience due to the presence of emotional plot and unexpected twist ending.The film turned out to be an average and one time watch from the critics and audience both.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a rating of 18% based on 11 reviews and an average rating of 4.5/10.
Renuka Vyahare of The Times of India gave 4 (out of 5) stars and said "Mimi picks a relevant topic and turns it into an engaging, empowering and compassionate tale on humanity and motherhood". Taran Adarsh, in his review for Bollywood Hungama, wrote "Mimi is a heartwarming saga, aimed at families and it will keep the audience thoroughly entertained. Had it released in cinemas, it had a good chance of becoming a success", giving a rating of 3.5 stars out of five. Umesh Punwani of Koimoi gave 4 out of 5 and said "Mimi is a delightful blend of humour and emotions". Sushri Sahu of Mashable India too gave 3.5 stars describing the film as an "feel-good family entertainer" and wrote, "Mimi is a family entertainer that might make you cry, laugh and smile all at the same time; If you're into that, you will enjoy Mimi, which is enriched by Sanon and Tripathi's performances". Calling Sanon's performance in Mimi her career-best she further wrote, "Sanon has outdone herself. In fact, as you see her shoulder the film with her craft, you will also see her deliver her career best performance; Mimi is Sanon's labour of love all the way".
Anupama Chopra of Film Companion wrote "Mimi is content to operate at a simplistic, superficial level. Laxman puts together a roster of terrific actors, but Mimi rests on Kriti's shoulders. She also works hard – putting on weight, working with a Rajasthani accent. In the climax, she is able to summon a wellspring of emotion but largely, her efforts are undermined by the script and her own inability to let go of synthetic Bollywood glamour." Jyoti Kanyal of India Today gave 2.5 (out of 5) and said "Mimi is a great attempt at bringing a social taboo like surrogacy to the centre stage. However, in trying to make it more entertaining and emotional, the makers lose a good opportunity. The film has some really funny scenes, and if melodrama is something you don't mind, you should definitely give Mimi one watch". Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost gave 1.5 (out of 5) saying "Writer-director Laxman Utekar's new Hindi film is a muddled take on motherhood with clarity only on its conservative mission to condemn abortion. If it had been better written and directed, Mimi might have been considered dangerous anti-women propaganda. To describe it thus would be a compliment though to the director's storytelling abilities".
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