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Wonderfully charming Movie
Feb 10, 2005 10:39 PM 4051 Views
(Updated Feb 10, 2005 10:39 PM)





I somehow have the fondness for those 70?s movies made by Basu Chaterjee, Gulzar, and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. They were the middle of road cinema, and struck a balance between the dreary nature of the art cinema and the crass nature of commercial cinema.

Heart warming, refreshing and utterly natural, they are the perfect types of movies to drive your blues. But what I really loved was the sort of characters they created, watch those movies and you get the feeling of having watched these people some time or other in your real life. One such favorite movie of mine is Milidirected by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Now I just love almost every movie of Hrishida just for the wonderful sense of characterization he brings into his movies, and for the way he depicts emotions and relationships in such a subtle and sensitive manner, and this is one of those movies.

While Mili has a story similar to that of Anand, the only difference being that in this case, the heroine suffers from cancer and the movie explores the love between the hero and heroine, while Anand was about friendship. Mili is not exactly a classic in the league of Anand, but still a very good movie, and has it?s own charm.

The Story

Mili( Jaya Bachan) is a young, carefree, happy go lucky girl, who brings a smile to people?s faces, and loves to play pranks on the neighbors of her apartments. She lives with her father( Ashok Kumar), her aunt( Usha Kiron, who incidentally was one of the heroines in Hrishida?s first movie Musafir) both of whom dote on her a lot. She also has a brother( Suresh Chatwal) who works in the Army, and he equally dotes on his beloved sister. All in all she is in a happy family leading a picture perfect life.

That is until the arrival of their new tenant Shekhar( Amitabh Bachan) in their penthouse. Shekhar is the exact anti thesis of Mili. He is brooding, lonely and serious, and shuns contact with other people. Unlike the happy family of Mili, he has a troubled past with his father killing his mother over an affair and he himself committing suicide. He is withdrawn and stays to himself. He shouts at kids and other people in the apartment, and he is perpetually drunk.

He often has bouts of violent temper and none in the apartment likes him. He is feared and avoided and all sorts of nasty rumors keep circulating around him. Mili also fears and hates him, but certain incidents make them meet together. Slowly Shekhar learns to value life and starts to open out to others. He is impressed by Mili?s happy nature, and learns the joy of living from her.

Love slowly strikes between the two, however fate intervenes as it is learnt that Mili is suffering from blood cancer and has a very short life. Shekhar however refuses to leave Mili and still loves her. Whether Shekar marries Mili or not, whether Mili survives her tragedy is something to be watched in this movie? In the mean we have two more characters Mili?s best friend( Aruna Irani) who is her close confidant also and a nosey parker neighbour( Shubha Khote) whose only purpose is to gossip about others.

The Movie

Mili has got many endearing and poignant emotional moments handled with trademark sensitivity by Hrishida.

· The scenes between Mili and her father after they learn of the news of her death are handled with suitable warmth.

· The scene where Shekhar gets into bouts of violent temper over neighbors who rake up his unpleasant past.

· The romantic scenes between Mili and Shekhar are handled wonderfully by Hrishida, with utmost restraint and sensitivity.

· The scene where Mili?s brother comes back and learns the tragic news of his sister.

· The scenes between Mili and her friend where she expresses her love for Shekhar.

In fact almost all the scenes in this movie are extremely good and Hrishida makes you empathize with both Shekhar and Mili. One thing I loved about Hrishida?s movies was that apart from the lead characters, he also takes great care of the supporting cast and it?s the same here. Watch the ladies in the flat bitching, gossiping, haggling and I am sure you must have been reminded of your next door neighbors.

The Performances

Amitabh Bachangives one of the best performances of his career as the brooding, drunken, reclusive Shekhar . He wonderfully expresses the pain, the anguish in his character. AB always gave his best for Hrishida, and Mili along with Anand and Abhimaan marks the trilogy of best performances AB gave for Hrishida.

Mili however belongs to Jaya Bachanwho gives a wonderuly evocative and sensitive performance in the title role. It?s a straight from the heart performance by this actresss, and watching her in tripe like K3G, Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche nowadays, you certainly feel sorry for the waste of talent.

Ashok Kumaris as usual wonderful as a helpless father who has to live with the fact that his beloved daughter is going to die soon. Watching him in the movie, every girl would want to have a father like him.

Among the others Aruna Irani as Mili?s best friend and Usha Kiron as her aunt provide good support.

The Songs

Hrishida?s movies always had wonderful songs right from Anari onwards and Mili is no exception. The best thing I liked about the songs in his movies is that they were not crammed into the movie just for the sake of it, but were an integral part of the movie. Mili was ?Dada? S.D.Burman?s last movie before his death and he made sure that his swansong would be forever remembered. The movie has 3 songs

Maine Kaha Phoolon Seby Lata is a sweet pleasant number. Its picturized on Mili and the kids in her flat. The song beautifully articulates Mili?s joyful nature ?Maine Kaha Phoolon Se, Haso to voh Khil Khilakar Has Liye?.

Badi Sooni Sooni Haiis one of Kishore da?s best serious numbers where he wonderfully expresses the hero?s loneliness. Sample this ?Kabhi Ek Pal Bhi Kahi Yeh Udasee Dil Mera Bole, tabhi muskurakar dabe paanw aaakar, dukh mujhe choole, na kar mujhse gam mere dillagi yeh dillagi?. While the first song says ?Zindagi Hasne Ke Liye?, this one is fed up with life. Wonderful contrast here.

Aaye Tum Yaad Mujheis again a very serious song, wonderfully sung by Kishore da again. The hero gets over his loneliness by looking at the stars and searches for a missing person in them. ?Jab Mai Raatein Mein Taare Gintha Hoon, Aur Tere Kadmon Ki Aahat Suntha Hoon, Lage Mujhe Har Taara Tera Darpan?.

All in all a wonderful movie from Hrishida, about life and its relationships. This is no classic like Anand, but all the same still a really good and charming movie.

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