Starring Janhvi Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Sunny Singh
Directed by Mathukutty Xavier
There is something to be said about the serious flow of a nurturing narrative in Mili that places it heads and shoulders above the other releases this week. Merely by being a remake of a well-received Malayalam film, Mili doesn’t become susceptible to charges of complacent copy-and-paste filmmaking.
Though the basic plot-points of the two films, the father-daughter bonding and the survival story when the daughter is accidently locked into freezer in a mall, are the same, the treatment is original and refreshing.
The actors are beyond delightful. Janhvi Kapoor and Manoj Pahwa are so well cast and look so comfortable with one another that I would have probably mistaken them to be father-daughter in real life if I didn’t know any better. Sunil Kathikeyan mood-perfect cinematography captures the initial sunny mood vividly, only to switch moods effortlessly from yellow to silvery white.
As for Janhvi, she is a revelation. Immersing herself deep into her character she is every bit the Papa’s girl who finds herself in an awful situation. From the perfect body language to the struggle with the English language to her horrific predicament in a freeze frame she is is fully committed to being Mili. It is like watching a very experienced actress embedding her skills into the role of a lifetime.
The supporting cast is also excellent. Director Mathukutty Xavier shows no signs of revisitation fatigue as he goes from the original to the remake. Having seen the original, I didn’t for a second feel I was watching a film I had already seen. The involvement with the crisis is unconditional. You won’t breathe and until Mili is home and safe. Set aside all the garbage released this week, Mili is your go-to film this weekend. Don’t bother to buy your popcorn. It will be forgotten in your lap.