Starring: Kriti Sanon, Pankaj Tripathi, Sai Tamhankar, Manoj Pahwa, Supriya Pathak
Director: Laxman Utekar
After familiarising the Indian audience with the concept of a live-in relationship with his directorial debut ‘Lukka Chuppi’, Utekar brings to our screens another family perspective on motherhood and surrogacy.
Mimi (Sanon) is a Rajasthani stage dancer with Bollywood in her dreams. The bold and fierce personality, the ‘ain’t taking no shit’ type, comes to realise that her sinking savings aren’t enough to sail her to . But being a surrogate for an American couple desperately looking for a fit Indian girl to bear their child seems like a perfect chance for her to bag some much-needed pots of money.
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The film takes a turn from the opening scene of a stark “factory of surrogates” and pendulums towards a brief comic narrative in its first hour when the quick-witted cabbie Bhanu (Tripathi) swoops in to take care of the pregnant Mimi. And not drifting too far from its theme, the director reminds us that happiness almost always comes with a price.
After hearing about the detected foetal abnormalities, the couple chooses to abandon their surrogate baby – as if a toy – with a curt missive for Mimi to abort it. Now, the true implications of someone else’s bun come to the fore. Much to the dismay of an initially overjoyed Mimi, simply focussed on her fair share of the baby bargain, her dreams of tinsel town seem to be fading away. She ponders how: “killing a child after its birth is a crime, but killing it inside the womb is not?”
The damsel in distress drags Bhanu into a complex web of lies to confront her wailing mother (Pathak) and a despondent father (Pahwa), who gradually warm to their daughter’s decision to keep the baby – a stand which may seem way to progressive to some.
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The situational comedy soaks in the captivating performances of the artists. Sanon’s portrayal of Mimi is strong enough to make her the protagonist in this piece. Like always, Tripathi adds nuance to his character sketch with his signature foxy outlook that we can never get enough of. Pahwa as an adorable dad, Pathak as a melodramatic mum and Tamhankar as the best friend Shama we all would like in our corner are a bonus in this new offering.