Meri Nimmo review: An uncomplicated, charming story about childhood, first love and heartbreak
Meri Nimmo (originally titled Nimmo), is the uncomplicated and sweet story of a nine-year-old boy and his first love, which is also his first experience with heartbreak.
Meri Nimmo (originally titled Nimmo), is the uncomplicated and sweet story of a nine-year-old boy and his first love, which is also his first experience with heartbreak. Hemu might disagree about the uncomplicated part, because unrequited love can be complicated even at age nine.
Hemu is a confident and slightly precocious boy, the only son of a single parent. His mother is glad for the close-knit community in their hamlet and the support offered by a young neighbour, Nimmo. Hemu has a huge crush on Nimmo, who is at least twice his age. So when the village starts buzzing with news of Nimmo’s upcoming engagement, Hemu, egged on by his best friend, decides he must propose to her first.
This leads to some cute scenes capturing a child’s naive understanding of adult relationships and rituals such as marriage and related paraphernalia.
Director Rahul Shankalya shoots the film almost in two planes – the view as seen from the eyes of a nine year old, and the world according to the adults who don’t take children seriously nor do share any real information with them. Hemu is as much as errand boy for his mother as he is for Nimmo. And Nimmo sees herself as nothing more than his big sister as he helps him with everyday chores.
Yet Hemu and his friends are resourceful kids. They fix cycles, draw complex diagrams for school homework, can ride mopeds and rig up a makeshift projector using a water-filled light bulb and light refraction to create a home-grown picture experience (in this case, the main attraction is Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge).
The jaunty, French-cinema style background music by Krishna underlines a lightness of being. Anjali Patil’s beaming smile and open affection for Hemu seem to come naturally to the actress, which makes Hemu’s infatuation all the more endearing. Karan Dave is a delight as the oddly authoritative and independent child who’s in a hurry to grow up.
Peeyush Shrivastava’s story (screenplay and dialogues) is stretched to one hour 30 minutes, especially as its’s clear how the film will end. It’s obvious that Hemu will get a reality check and life will go on. But life is not always about heightened drama and in that sense Shankalya mostly presents authentic small town life populated by myriad characters (though a couple of scenes are a bit stagy), at the core holding on to an innocent world where children experience growing pains and adults go through their own rites of passage.
Meri Nimmo is now streaming on Eros Now.
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