Mili is the new thriller number in Bollywood
Mili is a new Bollywood survival thriller film directed by Mathukutty Xavier, and serves as the remake of his own 2019 Malayalam-language film Helen. The film is produced by Boney Kapoor and Zee Studios, the film stars Jahnvi Kapoor, Sunny Kaushal and Manoj Pahwa. This film marks the first ever collaboration of Boney Kapoor with his daughter Jahnvi Kapoor.
The story revolves around the lead actress in the role of a nursing graduate who is inadvertently locked in a freezer and struggles to stave off hyperthermia. Members of the supporting cast, which includes Manoj Pahwa and Sunny Kaushal, are in their elements too.
Mili is first and foremost a father-daughter story. Janhvi Kapoor plays Mili Naudiyal, a 24-year-old who lives with her single dad, Niranjan Naudiyal (Manoj Pahwa), in a quiet middle-class Dehradun neighbourhood. The girl works in a fast-food outlet in a shopping mall while she prepares for an upcoming IELTS test. Mili hopes to migrate to Canada and make a mark as a nurse there.
Niranjan and Mili cannot understandably do without each other, but the man does not stand in the way of his daughter’s decision to leave him and their small town behind in search of greener pastures. Although their life seems largely uneventful, father and daughter do have a thing or two that they conceal from each other. One of the secrets has a direct bearing on how things pan out for Mili.
Niranjan smokes on the sly and has cigarettes hidden all over their home. When Mili finds out, she puts her foot down and demands that he kick the habit forthwith. The man promises never to smoke again provided he is allowed a last puff. Mili accepts the deal.
The secret that Mili keeps from her father is far more combustive. She is in love with a jobless man, Sameer Kumar (Sunny Kaushal), who, as is implied in a couple of throwaway lines, belongs to a different caste.
Mili intends to keep her affair with Sameer under wraps until he lands a job – a move that indirectly leads to the life-and-death crisis that befalls her. Trapped in a freezer where the temperature goes as low as -17 degrees Celsius, she stares death in the face with no likelihood of a rescue act being mounted before it is too late.
For her distraught father, finding and saving her becomes a race against time and a battle against the town’s policing system. None of Mili’s colleagues know where she could have gone after work. The local police station, headed by a smarmy, lethargic sub-inspector Satish Rawat (Anurag Arora), isn’t particularly eager to extend any help to a troubled father and his worried neighbours.
The director, working with a script adapted for Hindi movie audiences by Ritesh Shah, imparts sustained intensity and urgency to the girl’s fight for survival and the despairing efforts of her father and friends to locate her. The result is a film that keeps the audience glued to the screen in spite of the fact that parts of it could have done with a tighter edit.
The film’s music was composed by A.R. Rahman with lyrics written by Javed Akhtar. And there’s no doubt that the songs are going to be in the “Recently Played” playlist of everyone.
It was released theatrically on 4 November 2022.
After the release of the film, mixed reviews have been given by the audience. While some said that, there was room for development in certain scenes while others were of the view that the film is must watch. The film gave Jahnvi Kapoor a chance to showcase her acting skills and she carried off the whole film smoothly.
“Mili has been one of the most challenging roles of my career and I’m very excited! I’m grateful to Mathukutty sir, who brought out the very best in me on screen. We shot in -10 degrees and fell ill but it was all so gratifying. I just want to make my parents proud.”– Jahnvi said.