Star Cast: Janhvi Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Sunny Kaushal & ensemble.
Director: Mathukutty Xavier
What’s Good: The team does manage to create a remake that has the essence almost intact.
What’s Bad: For the ones who have seen the original, this is a story visually lived and moved by, so it doesn’t make a difference when bad things happen because they are completely similar.
Loo Break: If watching this story for the first time, you won’t really need one.
Watch or Not?: Remakes with no changes at all need to be called out and that doesn’t change even if it is being headlined by a very good budding actor.
Available On: In Theatres Near You.
Runtime: 129 Minutes
24-year-old Mili who aspired to fly to Canada to build a better life has a lot on her plate including her boyfriend from a different caste and her fast-paced world. One fine day when things are already bad, she gets locked inside the cold storage of a food joint and now she has to thrive to survive and come out alive.
Mili Movie Review: Script Analysis
Helen written by Alfred Kurian Joseph, Noble Babu Thomas, and director Mathukutty Xavier was not just a survival drama but a social commentary about how society looks at a particular woman and they are quick to make judgments if something uncalled for happens to her. So when a Hindi remake by the same director presents itself as an official scene-to-scene remake, what is left to tell?
Adapted for the Hindi audience by the director himself, Mili opens as a sweet film about a girl who stays with her father and together they navigate the complexities of life. She aspires to fly to Canada, so she can earn more and let her father live his life. She dates a boy from a different community and either of the two falls in the lower levels of the set hierarchy. She is a graduated nurse, trying to learn English now, and works in a food joint to earn.
The character setup is strong and quite worth rooting for. Of course, the essence of it remains quite similar to the original because it is the man directing both. He builds a world where everyone has their own opinion of Mili, some love her, some see hope in her eyes, a street Romeo eve teases her, and a police officer judges her character considering she is out with her boyfriend post-12 in the night. So when Mili suddenly disappears nowhere to be found, all these people quickly announce their judgements even before looking around.
But the Hindi version while being a scene-to-scene remake fails to bring in the binding glue that puts all of this together effortlessly. The original had a very eerie vibe to it from the word go. Maybe a lot was also because Ana Ben’s petite appearance also made it difficult for us to think of anything bad happening to her. The Hindi version is not organically shaped towards the dooms day where she gets trapped, rather it looks like it is racing towards it. Now, this could also be a result of me already having seen the original. Also, the conversation around the intercaste affair doesn’t land as well as the original here.
That brings me to the point, in a world where the audience is fast getting used to subtitles and watching content from across the country and globe at large, why do we need a scene-to-scene remake of a very recent movie? Are we saying Anna doesn’t have a national appeal, or is Xavier doubtful about his own product? At the cost of sounding rude, good actors need to take a stand and stop the brigade that is busy marching towards the hall of remakes.
Mili Movie Review: Star Performance
In a six-film-long career, this is the third remake in Jahnvi Kapoor’s filmography. The actor excels in the parts she is trapped in the cold storage. There is a high chance of going over dramatic but she balances it pretty well.
While I still stand by my words that she is one of the most prominent budding actors in the hands of good filmmakers, she needs to get out of the ‘Hum’ obsession and take up roles that demand a different dialect and demeanor. Between Good Luck Jerry and Mili, the only difference is that her socio-economic status and getup changes. Dialect not much.
Credit where it’s due, Janhvi and Manoj Pahwa together bring out a very organic father-daughter relationship. They are cute and worth rooting for. A lot of it depends on Pahwa, who doesn’t have to do much to be the best on screen.
Sunny Kaushal plays another lover who has to prove his love in his filmography and he definitely needs a shift. He can cake walk this, what’s new for us in store Sunny?
Mili Movie Review: Direction, Music
Mathukutty Xavier is equipped to do a cut paste job with new faces and he does just that. Of course there is scope for more but then you realise it’s also a remake and this doesn’t make any sense.
My heart aches to say what I am about to next. This is an AR Rahman and Javed Akhtar album and there is no memorable song in there.
Mili Movie Review: The Last Word
These are prolific names that have come together. In a time where the world is accepting subtitles as normal, why do we need scene-to-scene remakes? As yourself makers.
Mili releases on 04 November, 2022.
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Yet to watch Ayushmann Khurrana’s latest release? Read our Doctor G Movie Review here.