Based in a small town of Dehradun, the latest Bollywood survival-thriller is a remake of Malayalam movie “Helen”. “Mili” starring Janhvi Kapoor, directed by Mathukutty Xavier and co-produced by Boney Kapoor has no such significant deviation or plot twists different from that of the original screenplay, though some details have been tweaked here and there which do not affect the story.

The story starts when Janhvi Kapoor playing Mili Naudiyal, a passionate nurse graduate working at a fast food joint at a mall, inadvertently locks herself in the freezer and struggles to keep herself alive in such adverse temperatures. The freezer scenes which takes most of the screen time, gives Janhvi Kapoor an opportunity as an actress to prove herself, with make-up that comes in handy here she shows a great deal of emotions, impressively. Proving that she has what it takes to carry a film on her shoulders right from beginning to end, she plays the lead here while understanding the responsibility behind it.

Her struggle to fight frostbite at a temperature as low as -17 degree Celsius along with the screams of despair heard by no one. She’s able to show it all, keeping the audience at the edge of their seats the whole time. Along with this, “Mili” also covers a very emotional relationship shared by a single father and a daughter. Sticking to the minute details of how Niranjan Naudiyal, Mili Naudiyal’s father played by Manoj Pahwa; cannot do without her daughter, yet does not stand in the way of her dreams and respects her decision of moving to Canada and to make a difference as a nurse there. How Mili is unhappy when she discovers that her father smokes, but later swears on quitting for her daughter’s sake spark the emotional core of the film. It’s a very natural take on how truly a relationship evolves between a father and daughter, despite being so close and frank with each other there are certain things that they conceal from each other as well. The father’s love is showcased evidently in the scenes where he tries to find Mili. A distraught man, who not only struggles but fights against time and the laid back policing system, he is in the race of getting her daughter back. Hats off to actor Manoj Pahwa for representing the role of a father so brilliantly even during times when things totally go out of control and he still expresses the rage within him exactly how a common man would.

With all this being said we cannot unsee, Sunny Kaushal playing Sameer Kumar, Mili’s lover who himself is on the line as Mili goes missing without a trace. He might have less screen time competitively but makes quite an impact with his acting and does justice to the role. “Mili” as a movie is neither slow paced nor pulsating; it’s rather controlled and consistently watchable as it does not go off the track. It manages to keep the focus on the girl in distress locked in the freezer throughout the movie while showing other pieces of the story simultaneously. All the blocks fit right in the place as the movie turns out. The controlled nature of the movie can also be seen as it does not overdo the emotions, nor does it hit the audience with too many plot twists.

One thing where the movie lacks could be that it may seem a little stretched because of the restricted space of the freezer and limits the film for most of its screen time to that space. Given the emergency that the protagonist lands herself in, there could have been a few tweaks here and there that could have been avoided to keep the atmosphere more intact and thus, would’ve made some sequences more gripping. Isn’t that, after all, the essence of good thrillers?

Overall, “Mili” is a great one time watch, with exemplary performance by the actors, a fitting storyline making good enough reasons to watch the film.


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