Mili is the Hindi adaptation of the Malayalam film Helen, directed by Mathukutty Xavier. The movie is produced by Boney Kapoor and the character of Mili is portrayed by Jahnvi Kapoor. As the name suggests, it is a female-led drama, centered around the life of a girl-next-door, Mili Naudiyal, who lives with her father (Manoj Pahwa) and is loved by everyone.
Hailing from a humble background, she is ambitious and aspires to move to Canada for her higher education. Thus, the girl works in a fast-food outlet in a shopping mall while preparing for an upcoming IELTS test, while also taking care of her single dad.
What comes out as a pleasant surprise for the audience is her love interest, Sameer Kumar (Sunny Kaushal), who, as can be deciphered belongs to a different social background. However, their relationship is one that is concealed from both, her father as well as society at large.
The story picks up the pace when Mili is shown in a professional light. she works at a fast food outlet at the mall and is shown as a hardworking, yet docile employee who succumbs to her strict manager’s whims.
Her mundane, non-so-eventful life goes down south when she is accidentally locked up in the cold storage, post a late night shift, This one lofty human error costs her every cell of her body. as the mall gets shut, the next few hours become fate-deciding.
The scenes in the freezer are nail-biting, as Mili tries to fight hypothermia, the audience is awestruck by how lethal the situation becomes with every passing second. As a survival drama, the freezer scenes do make one intrigued about how she’d be able to pull herself out of this pernicious situation.
The movie, through the other characters, touches on the topics of moral policing and societal control as one watches how the father, outside tries his best to find his missing daughter.
Main Toh Main Hoon Song from Mili
The regressiveness of the police officer is portrayed through his opinion on how a ‘girl’ must behave and how she must not step out late. One can sense the burden of guilt being transferred to the protagonist just because she belongs to a certain gender. Even though Mili shares a loving relationship with her father, the issue of parental control is presented subtly through her act of concealing her relationship, given that her boyfriend is jobless and thus, not suitable in the eyes of society.
This feeling is further ingrained when her father blames him for her suffering. One cannot, but sympathize with Sameer as he earnestly tries to convince everybody about his innocence and helplessness.
Though slightly long, the movie is gripping and becomes even more convincing through the splendid performances of all the characters. Led by Jahnvi Kapoor in full form, it is definitely safe to say that this is her best work yet.