Cine Rating - 72%
Director Rajesh Pillai brought in a definite difference in the way Malayalam films are narrated, with Traffic. In Mili, which he is directing after a brief hiatus, is the story of an introvert girl.
Mili (Amala Paul) is an insecure, lonely girl who has a lot of issues as she lacks confidence, right from her schooldays. The sad state of affairs at home and the hatred shown by her roommates at a hostel doesn’t help things much.
She works in a kids’ day-care but has to quit the job after some unprecedented happenings. Finally, it is the influence of a corporate trainer Naveen (Nivin Pauly) that makes a certain difference in her outlook about life.
The story is a close look into the life of a young girl, whose inhibitions forms the whole plot. Mili has been presented with a dull make up during the phase when she finds the going tough. In an essentially hero centric industry, it comes as a whiff of fresh air when such feelings that would have been limited to the anguished minds of some women get a genuine space on screen. Scenarist Mahesh Narayanan and director Rajesh Pillai has to be appreciated for their honesty and boldness for sure.
Still, the film is far from perfect and the presence of too many characters and too many songs act as a distraction at times. It’s a simple storyline and there are some clichéd sequences sprinkled at times, perhaps to appease the masses.
The visuals are fine. While Gopi Sundar scores with his background music, Shaan Rahman’s Manpaatha Neettunna… song summarizes the mood of the film to a great extent.
Nivin Pauly looks seriously handsome and he adds a meaning to the role of the corporate trainer. But the film belongs to the brilliant Amala Paul, who takes the story ahead with a matured performance. She is the heart and soul of Mili and she does not strike a single false note. She absolutely shines and the film stands back and lets her rule. The child artiste who played the younger Mili needs to be appreciated and Amala takes over from her with remarkable ease.
In the end, Mili works as an inspirational movie and portrays the coming of age of a young girl. The film has its heart at the right place. It could be a nice way to spend about two hours at the cinemas.