Kriti Sanon

“Mimi,” the Hindi remake of award-winning Marathi film on surrogacy, “Mala Aai Vhyaychaya,” will star Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon (right) in the role of Marathi actress Urmila Kanitkar, who played the surrogate mother in the original film. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Here is a description of the superb “Mala Aai Vhaychaya (I want to become a mother),” which was given the Best Marathi Film award at the 58th National Film awards, 2011, when this writer was on is Jury. The story was a real-life case that happened in rural Maharashtra, where many Indian village women become surrogate mothers for even foreigners.

A remarkable case where an unscrupulous foreign woman disappeared because an X-ray revealed a possible deformity in the child during the surrogate mother’s pregnancy, and came back years later to claim him when told by the agent that her child was a hale and hearty child being raised by the surrogate mother, it ended in a court case where the Indian surrogate mother who had raised him won.

The highlight of this beautiful film was its first-hand narration, as it was written, produced and directed by Samruoddhi Porey, the veteran advocate who actually fought the case! Marathi top star Urmila Kanitkar, now the daughter-in-law of filmmaker-actor and Hindi film child actor Mahesh Kothare, was the surrogate mother.

The film won 7 State, 2 National and 37 other international awards. It was also selected to be the closing film during the London International Film Awards. Samruoddhi worked for the film in nine categories and made a record. The film was also selected to be shown to U.S. President Obama by the then-President Pratibha Patil.

After the mega-success of her debut film, Porey offered the Indian audiences another amazing real-life story of the multi-faceted Dr. Prakash Amte. This movie, “Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – The Real Hero,” was shot on real locations in tribal locales, spotlighting a man who not only touched the lives of many deprived tribes but who also cared for wild animals.

The Oscar-nominated “Hemalkasa” and the Zee Marathi TV series, “The Real Heroes – Katha Samruddhichya” are among Porey’s other contributions to the screen.

This is the tall order that producer Dinesh Vijan, who bought the remake rights some years ago, and his director Laxman “Luka Chhupi” Utekar have to match in their remake of “Mala Aai Vhyaychaya,” – titled “Mimi” – which will star Kriti Sanon in Kanitkar’s role along with Pankaj Tripathi. Amar “Stree’ Kaushik was to direct the film originally but got busy with another venture produced by Vijan.

Half the battle will be won by the right casting, and we think Sanon is the perfect choice among the GenY heroines despite being a Punjabi. Aiden Barkely, who played the role of a 4-year-old surrogate child in the original, hailed from Washington.

Says Wikipedia on the boy, “He was selected for the role because of his blonde looks and was then tutored in Marathi, especially the Warhadi dialect. Aiden’s father Matt also appears in the film. Matt and his spouse confirmed that Aiden himself was a surrogate child born in India, and they were back in India to have their second surrogate child when Porey noticed Aiden and approached them for the role.”

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