A wonderfully enjoyable yet straightforward version of the Malayalam film Helen, Mili (2022) by Mathukutty Xavier was inspired by the true account of a girl who was confined in a freezer. As soon as you see Mili (Jhanvi Kapoor) on the screen, you lose yourself and get into her shoes. She is instantly relatable and lovable. The movie reminded me of Deepika Padukone’s Piku, who, though irritated by her hypochondriac father’s eccentricities, continues to love him. Similarly, Mili takes us through a fascinating father-daughter dynamics.

Mili (2022) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis:

Mili Naudiyal is a nursing graduate who plans to move to Canada to pursue further education and then find employment. She is taking IELTS classes to sharpen her English and achieve that goal. She resides with her father, Niranjan Naudiyal (Manoj Pahwa), an insurance agent, and works part-time as an employee for a fast-food franchise in Dehradun. Mili was raised in a middle-class family. But she has resolved to move to Canada to provide herself and her father with a better life.

Mili is a charming but reserved young woman with just the right goals in life and is determined to achieve them. She is aware that she will have to undergo changes and modifications to ensure good health for her father and that moving to Canada will be worth it. Convinced of this fact, she attempts to prepare her father to take care of himself.

Sameer (Sunny Kaushal), with whom Mili is in a relationship, has always been incredibly supportive of her aspirations. Mili tries hard to convince Sameer to take up a job, and finally, he gets a job in Delhi. Mili is overjoyed that she can now talk to her father about her marriage because Sameer is relocating to Delhi for work. Although her father is ignorant of their relationship, Mili is confident he won’t be against it. Sameer epitomizes the ideal lover, going above and beyond to support his girlfriend’s aspirations. Mili leaving for another nation first upsets him. However, he eventually realizes that she is doing it for their future.

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When Sameer and Mili are stopped by the police in the middle of the night on their way home from celebrating Sameer getting a job in Delhi, they are initially penalized for not wearing a helmet. Subsequently, it is quickly established that Sameer is under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, they are both transported to the adjacent station. When Mili’s father is contacted, SI Satish Rawat (Anurag Arora) begins his boring lecture on why girls shouldn’t be allowed outside with strange individuals at odd hours. SI Satish Rawat is a typical patriarchal guy who prioritizes moral policing over actual policing. Actually, he should be doing his job and not preaching about how to live one’s life. It’s an wholly unlikeable character but convincingly performed, provoking the viewer to get back at him.

The things that happened at the police station have Mili’s father upset. His daughter had never told him about her lover, so he is astonished to learn of it. Mili’s father has always regarded her as intelligent and goal-oriented. She tries to explain her side of the events, but her father decides to ignore her since he has come to terms with the possibility that she might have a partner. Mili, despite trying, finds it difficult to speak to her father. And exactly at that moment, Mili’s day turns topsy turvy. What happens next forms the most important part of the movie.

Why is Sameer’s character portrayed as irresponsible and just wanting to enjoy life drinking alcohol?

Jahnvi Kapoor in Mili
Jahnvi Kapoor in Mili (2022)

Since the confrontation at the police station the previous day, Mili hasn’t spoken to Sameer and is concerned more about her father and the least interaction they have had since then. However, when Sameer arrives at her place of employment to speak with her, Mili declines to do so. The fact that her father was made aware of Mili’s relationship with Sameer in this manner makes Mili feel ashamed.

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The fact that he had alcohol in his system and neglected to tell Mili about it upsets her as well. This arrest may have an impact on his new work, which he is scheduled to start in a few days. She had to take a step back after his thoughtless error and focus on accelerating the Canadian immigration process. But this sudden yet needed situation, in a way, molds Sameer and he plans to move to New Delhi, promising to be different. Sameer’s character is portrayed as irresponsible and spending his time lavishly because he represents the youth of our time who are left unemployed and have turned deviants.

How does Mili get stuck in the Freezer?

Mili assumes that her father is mad at her and continues to think that he will not forgive her. But after her colleague convinces her, she decides to go back home. Or else she was just planning on staying back and dragging her time at work. When she decides to go home, she gets ready and punches out. Alas, her colleagues arrive and ask her help to place the frozen meat boxes into the freezer.

Although reluctant at first, she agrees to help her friends and takes one box at a time. She keeps one and returns to pick up the other and goes inside the freezer to place it in. But her manager is unaware that she is in the freezer. He berates his employees for being irresponsible. And while cursing them, he closes the freezer door, unknowingly imprisoning Mili. The manager of the restaurant makes sure that all have punched out by looking at the online system. And goes home, continuing and muttering his problems to his friend on a call.

What does Mili do to survive inside the freezer?

Mili’s attempts to overcome every challenge she faced in the freezer that night convinced me that we may be faced with umpteen problems, but there are always some solutions to them. Only we need to attempt to brace those challenges and navigate our way through them.

Mili uses the usual technique of banging the door, but the soundproofed space proves her attempt fatal. She uses her clothes in the bag to cover herself not to allow herself to freeze. As she realizes that the AC vents could be closed, she attempts to close them but injures her ankle instead.

Mili keeps herself warm after finding her father’s lighter in her bag. She burns her IELTS books, but then the smoke chokes her, and therefore, she tries to turn off the fire. She then prepares a replica of a tent with meat boxes available to hide from the cool breeze from the vent. And finally covers herself with butter paper.

Much like Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Trapped,’ another survival movie where Shaurya (Rajkumar Rao) encounters rats in the trapped apartment. While Shaurya talks to the rat, Mili befriends a mouse and tries to give warmth by placing the tiny animal in her bag and also giving the mouse some food to eat. But then, due to the dropping temperatures, the mouse dies. Building the tension for Mili, who is now left with no one but herself and the tragedy that she is facing.

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High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Meanwhile, SI Satish Rawat, who considers himself to be the guardian of morals, mishandles the case of a missing girl and refuses to assist Mili’s father because he questions why a woman would leave the house at midnight. Satish Rawat is an excellent illustration of the type of guys who work in our system, which is designed to assist those in need, save them, and help them find a solution. Satish Rawat acts in total opposition to that. He takes special care to offer uninvited advice and makes sure the matter isn’t registered. Although a government employee is employed to assist the populace, he goes out of his way to degrade Mili’s family and ensure that Mili is not located.

Mili (2022) Movie Ending Explained:

How do they finally manage to trace Mili’s exact location?

According to the testimony of the watchman who works at the mall, Mili was the only person who would notice him and smile at him. So, he is sure Mili hasn’t left the mall that night.

Sameer respectfully convinces Mili’s father that he wouldn’t marry her if her father disapproves of the marriage. He also states that Mili is a good-natured girl, and she will not forget the virtues taught by her father in an instant.

When SI Satish is reluctant to help Ravi Prasad (Sanjay Suri), his boss takes over, uses the location tracer to find an unconscious Mili in the freezer, and shifts her to a hospital where she is treated for hypothermia.

Sameer’s affection for Mili and her father’s unwavering fortitude keep them searching for her. The discovery of the daughter brings great joy to Mili’s father. He makes it clear that he won’t obstruct her from fulfilling her desire to immigrate to Canada.

Mr. Naudiyal is a father who will go to great lengths to ensure that his daughter is secure in her life and content. Since the incident, Sameer’s love for Mili has grown, and he makes a commitment to support her and act responsibly moving forward. The search for Mili helps Sameer and Mili’s father finally get along.

Read More: Frozen (2010) Review: A Fairly Tense Survival Horror

Trailer

Mili (2022) Movie Links – IMDb, Wikipedia
Mili (2022) Movie Cast – Janhvi Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Sunny Kaushal
Where to watch Mili

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