Written and directed by Mathukutty Xavier, 2022 Bollywood movie ‘Mili’ is a remake of his Malayalam film ‘Helen’ which is about a woman getting stuck in a walk-in freezer and fighting for her survival. While the original version starred Anna Ben, its Hindi version has Jahnvi Kapoor in the lead.
For a movie that leads viewers to believe it’s a survival thriller, ‘Mili’ has a prolonged build-up that will get on the nerves of those expecting the conflict to begin sooner. Jahnvi Kapoor as unconvincing as a middle-class girl learning English and working part-time at a food chain. She was pretty good in her last outing ‘Good Luck Jerry‘, and it’s not as if she is bad as Mili Naudiyal, but her performance just fails to invoke any interest in her story. She simply lacks – for the lack of a better term – the ‘x’ factor. Manoj Pahwa is endearing as her father Niranjan, but well, it doesn’t matter how good the supporting cast is if the titular protagonist cannot demand your attention.
A lot of the events and characters who make their way to the screen before Mili’s horrifying ordeal don’t add up, especially an annoying boyfriend who hounds his upset girlfriend at work, instead of displaying basic decency/respect for her job. The second-half is only mildly compelling, with Mili struggling to get out of the freezer, while her worried father desperately looks around town for his beloved daughter. A movie like this should’ve had a crisper runtime, perhaps ninety minutes at best, instead of the two-hour-long almost lifeless drama we are served.
It’s a 4/10 from me. Stream it on Netflix if you’re still interested.
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