'Milestone' review: A moving commentary on capitalism and identity crisis
Milestone or Meel Patthar, co-written, directed, and edited by Ivan Ayr, is now streaming on Netflix. The film premiered at the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival last year and was well-received. Starring Suvinder Vicky and Lakshvir Saran, Milestone makes a social commentary on capitalism, loneliness, and identity crisis in the same breath. Here's our review.
It takes us on Ghalib's journey as he battles loneliness
The movie begins with truck driver Ghalib, who spends most of his time on the road, and is quietly dealing with his wife's death. His loneliness is felt through the screen, so is his fear of being discarded like yesterday's newspaper. Ghalib also notices the signs of age catching up with his body. Amid all this, he has to mentor a young driver, Pash.
The film also makes a poignant point about capitalism
The film paints a moving picture of capitalism through the often invisible cogs in the machine. Milestone makes us understand that no matter how much time you invest in your work, you can be tossed to the side at the slightest inconvenience, leaving you helpless.
The film thrives on brilliant and understated performances
Vicky as Ghalib will stay with
you long after the movie ends. Featuring in almost every frame through the 98-minute-long run, he commands your attention and empathy.
The desperation he feels while training his replacement, thinking he's losing his only identity, is apparent.
Meanwhile, Saran's Pash is too pure to understand the ruthlessness of the world he's stepping in, and he portrays that perfectly.
The Ghalib and Pash connection is unmissable
The Ghalib-Pash connection is the highlight. Both are poets and rebels in their own right. We see Pash distraught, sitting next to a well after a traumatic sighting, which looks like a reference to his own end. It is the character's last appearance.
Ayr's direction is flawless; reminds you of 'Soni'
The film bears a similar tone, feel, and texture to Ayr's first Soni, which had hit Netflix in 2018. The camera work, lighting, and the use of ambient sounds instead of music are commendable. The journey sequences will somewhat remind cinema lovers of legendary filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's style, with Ayr's own flavor. The dialogues will also make you hit pause and ponder about life.
Verdict: 'Milestone' is a hard-hitting film you simply can't miss
Milestone is not made for passive viewing as it addresses a lot of important issues in a nuanced manner. Our society is one that respects its elders, so it really makes you think about the ground reality. The movie may seem a bit dragged at times, but overall, Milestone will make you ponder about life like never before. Final rating: 4/5 stars.