mili (3)

What is it about? :: Mili Nair (Amala Paul) is a girl who has underachieved throughout her life and has developed a certain amount of inferiority complex about not living up-to the expectations. Being a high level introvert and never having even one real friend, Mili is disliked by her room mates in the hostel, the group of three lead by Renuka Menon (Shamna Kasim) who hates her, and the other two Shelly (Swapna Menon) and Raji (Sija Rose) who feel irritated by her behaviour. Her only two means of happiness are the day-care where she works and the sisterly relationship with Nancy (Praveena). But one day, she is forced to leave her job, and the guy whom she has a crush on, seems to be in a relationship with Renuka. She is highly disappointed and thinks about suicide, but Nancy’s brother Naveen (Nivin Pauly) helps her, and after bring introduced to the friends circle of Anupama (Sanusha Santhosh), her life gets a twist or two as she finds the strength within her.

The defence of Mili :: Here is a movie with so much strength to make you feel and directly go through that path of the protagonist who becomes a kind of answer to Bollywood’s Queen, even as this won’t have that much of good reviews, because three out of five is what awesome Malayalam movies can get from the critics here. I would actually consider this movie better than Queen and also Highway with its empowerment of the central female character. It is also better than the last year’s Malayalam flick How Old Are You are which was less realistic and had a protagonist was too talented that what she comes up with is no real surprise. Meanwhile, MiliΒ has the rise of the real subaltern who comes out of her problems which go back to her childhood and rise like the real queen. Mili is a completely realistic movie, and its incidents and emotions connect directly to the audience. Cheers to Gopi Sunder and Shaan Rahman for the highly effective music too.

Positives and Negatives :: The movie is a straight take on its content, even as it is an ordinary story in its base. There are some silly moments in the beginning which might have been meant to bring some fun there. May be Mili should have been shown as “just another introvert” or with a further clear background. Well, the movie touchesΒ you and it shakes your heart with its emotional power. “Manpaatha Neettunna Mohangale” is a bloody good song, and when heard in relation to the movie is a wonderful experience, something that makes you feel the power of the journey of the protagonist, as long as you have a heart with enough of empathy. It is a stake through the heart, but is something of exhilaration on one end. The movie ends with a speech which is the soul of the movie, and it is up-to you to decide if you want it in the end. But the power of the final words cannot be questioned as it is incredibly strong and the return of that song in the end is a remarkable addition to the emotional strength of the movie.

Performers of the soul :: The movie is impressive in its characterization, and it is reflected in the performances of the actors. Mili’s character goes through a great path, right from the awesome child actor to the amazing performance from Amala Paul who has undoubtedly managed her best in Malayalam with this one protagonist. It is nothing other than inconceivable bliss to watch her as Mili. Here is she acting without make-up and making it work in an amazing way. Nivin Pauly gives a great support, and him doing this role in a heroine-centred role is worth an applause. Sai Kumar is also very good; the same can be said about Praveena. One thing that is to be noticed is the presence and the nice support of the young actresses in this movie, starting with Sanusha Santhosh about whom we are well aware of, and has already left her mark. The others including the better known Shamna Kasim and the rest of the list having Sija Rose, Swapna Menon and Soumya Sadanandan makes us realize that Malayalam movie industry has so much power in its core for years to come.

Soul exploration :: It is clear that some people are not able to be inspired by Mili and can’t like it. I can understand that. It is mainly because of their inability to connect with those who have problems in their life. May be they are hundred percent extroverts or some who were born with silver spoons in their mouth, or those who had a very easy path throughout their lives. They might be big genius people who knows everything. But for us others, who can connect easily with a person having troubles, this movie is a big thing. May be some people don’t need to be motivated because they are so awesome, but I am really motivated with this, as I know my weaknesses. It is okay that some people can’t connect with people having problems, but I can. May be it is because I am not that good, and the positive thing about that is that I can surely feel the power of motivation that is present in this movie. I am an introvert, a proud introvert – and I feel the pain and the abiding inspiration. Let me tell you something about Mili – she remains the introvert even in the end, but a confident one.

How it finishes :: You can read my earlier preview and expectations about this movie here: ( But I have a request; it is that if you can’t relate to the feelings of someone who has a behaviour problem and with people having any trouble with being “normal”, don’t watch this movie. If you think that people who are different are idiots and don’t deserve anything, please stay with your higher level of people. If you think that getting high scores in exams and getting a big job with a high salary are the only things that matter in your life, please stick to the great people who have managed to do so. Mili is for people who have empathy, and it is not for those who take pride only in one’s own achievements by degrading others. Mili has a few lessons for the parents, not to scold the children for the problems that they couldn’t solve in Mathematics or for the ten marks that they lost in Physics – love your children and teach them to be good, not scoring machines.

A few more words :: The movie ends with the lines from William Wordsworth’s The Rainbow: “the child is father of the man”, and you ask yourself; how can that not be true? The other name of the poem is My Heart Leaps Up – hope that gives you a clue. Romanticism never seems to leave me. Mili has a lot for women, introverts and all the subaltern, with a mighty message to rise. The modern world asks for winners and in the world of competition as the weaker ones are avoided, a good person is the true winner. Society provides us with labels, but it doesn’t reflect the real us. During the movie, I often wondered if Mili is a manifestation of the kindred of my soul’s unexplored side. There are those moments which tunnel through your brain and heart to send shock-waves right through. You have the right not to agree with me, but my rating stands, because I completely follow my mind and heart on this one. I will leave you with one awesome song from the movie.

Release date: 23rd January 2015
Running time: 113 minutes
Directed by: Rajesh Pillai
Starring: Amala Paul, Nivin Pauly, Shamna Kasim, Sanusha Santhosh, Sija Rose, Riya Saira, Praveena, Sai Kumar, Amol Parashar, Vanitha Krishnachandran, Idavela Babu, Anju Aravind, Ambika, Bindu Panicker, Devi Ajith, Baby Nandana, Master Neil Kaushik, Baby Ammu, Sangeetha Mohan, Soumya Sadanandan, Swapna Menon


@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

77 thoughts on “Mili

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  3. I’m going to watch this movie over the weekend. :)”in favor of introverts” got me. In a weird way, I want to see you break down and review the fifty shades movie when it comes out. You’re so blatantly honest with your reviews, I feel like that will be interesting. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to come back and comment on this post.
    I am not denying the fact that the concept of the movie was good. But isn’t this movie a tad overdone? For one, the drama is beyond realistic. People around applauding for everything she does–seriously? Even in situations in which she makes the kids pick trash off the floor. That’s so not what normal malayali parent (or any proud Indian parent) would have done. If it was that easy to change anyone’s views, the world would not be as messed up as it is now. Secondly, for a heroine centric movie, she did nothing. Praveena, Nivin Pauly, and others did everything. She was not empowered, she just took credit for what others did. thirdly, the movie places a lot of importance on looks, which is a shame. I mean, how is contact lens and sari related to subliminal capacity? That’s a very “Main Hoon Na” concept–Be more “Indian” in demeanor to get people’s attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The scene of picking trash off the floor is rather a symbol of good ideas being taught to the kids, and I would expect parents to applaud the same. We have done that with our flat’s hall a few times, and I don’t see why parents won’t see it as a positive thing. Not everyone will applaud it, but there will be people who appreciate the same.

      No, she did her part. She shined in the job which was given to her. Not everyone can do everything alone; but with good support, people can do great things, and she was given the platform, and she had just begun to thrive on the same. She was empowered by the end. I was helped by many people throughout my life, but that doesn’t mean that I did nothing and has no strength. People should help each other a lot, and it is how the life should go on.

      I don’t think that the dressing had anything to do with the same. It was just chosen by her. The idea about dressing had changed with her change in views. It happens all the time. And she remains the same Mili; I didn’t see any difference in looks. My clothing preferences changed when I decided to do MA – that doesn’t mean that it made me a better person.

      I could easily relate with most of the things in this movie, and I don’t see anything overdone. Yes, inspirational movies exaggerate a bit for the normal audience, but those who can relate their lives to the movie can easily feel that it is not.


    • I am saying this because things have happened to me which might feel rather overdone for a lot of people. My life itself has been a radical exaggeration of many things. I wouldn’t want to come up with a drastic rewind, but the three points which you had mentioned, “the applause”, “did nothing” and “the change of clothes” can be related with all the realism that reflects on my life.

      May be you can’t, but that is understandable because we don’t live the same lives, and that indeed is the beauty of having subjective opinions among us, the audience.


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  12. This movie had a strong message and though some of the hostel related portions seemed unnecessary to me, the way she overcame her fears and limitations was depicted wonderfully. Amala Paul has done a lovely job. I read a comment that said giving importance to looks wasn’t necessary. In some circumstances, maybe.
    I am an ambivert. Before that I was an introvert. As a child, I loved ornaments, bright colors etc but with time and experience, I lost interest in all of them until there was a point when I was totally disinterested. Again with time and experience and motivation, I changed into a better me. It involved change in looks too. The way I have put it might seem funny. I don’t have an explanation for it. For some people, change in looks could build confidence. I thought that was what they depicted in the movie. I could be wrong. πŸ™‚

    Being a person who could relate to the movie, I liked it. Except a few scenes. That is alright I guess πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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