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Milestone 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Ivan Ayr
Writers: Ivan Ayr, Neel Mani Kant
Stars: Lakshvir Saran, Suvinder Vicky
The story follows a middle-aged truck driver Ghalib (Suvinder Vicky) who is coping with the recent, tragic demise of his wife. And, professionally, even after marking 5,00,000 kilometers on the road, he faces the threat of losing his life-defining job to a new driver.
Set in the outskirts of Delhi-NCR, ‘Milestone’ (aka Meel Patthar) revolves around two main characters—Ghalib, a lonely, aging truck driver, who, despite being always driving from one place to another, hasn’t moved ahead much in life and Pash (Lakshvir Saran), a wide-eyed ambitious young man, who is excited about driving trucks.
This multi-layered film is co-written, edited, and directed by Ivan Ayr (known for his 2018 debut film ‘Soni’) and focusses on the personal and professional struggles of truck-industry workers, who hardly seem to live in their permanent residence with their family. They are always on the move and consider the truck as their ‘home’. From the opening scene to the end, the camera shadows Ghalib in an attempt to make viewers feel as if they are trailing him. The audience follows him while he walks with his persistent backache, the continuous cycle of loading and unloading of goods at his workplace, driving his truck on the highway and guiding his understudy Pash. The close-up shots of the truck tyres in motion and the dusty highways keep you moving and involved with the slow-burning characters of Ghalib and Pash.
The story is simple and to the point—be it Ghalib coping with the tragedy of his wife’s Etali’s, unexpected death, his back spasm or the way he tries to save his job. The viewers can easily relate to him and his struggles throughout the movie. However, there is a secrecy around Ghalib’s relationship with his wife that makes the audience wonder what might have actually happened. The solid screenplay (by Ivan Ayr and Neel Manikant) swings between compassion, bonding, and selfish interests between owners and their workers at an unhurried pace. The depiction of the owners of the company being rough with older employees (who have been working with them for decades) and offering their jobs to youngsters, is spot on. This is what happened to Ghalib’s friend and coworker Dilbaug (Gurinder Makna), who had been abruptly asked to leave the company.
The intensity in the scenes increase the overall impact of the story. Most of the dialogues are a mix of Punjabi and Hindi which perfectly blends with the story giving it a genuine feel. The conversations are deep and meaningful, like the scene where Pash comes to see a dead body closely and Ghalib consoles him by saying “Bhatere meel aane hain,” (many more milestones to come), which clearly specifies that life has just begun and there will be similar miserable situations one has to face at every point. So, face it and be strong!
Suvinder Vicky steals the show as Ghalib. He evidently uses his expressions and deep eyes to convey the miseries of his life. Ghalib being a nice man accommodates everything regardless of what life throws at him. In a sequence, he first dismisses the man who lands up at his house to paint flower pots, but later allows him to do that just like the way his dead wife would have wanted. He realises that this person is also a daily wager and his efforts to come all the way should not be wasted. Lakshvir Saran is incredible as the youngster struggling between his desire to be nice and the need for this job and money. All the women in the movie are courageous and have powerful roles—be it the female sarpanch-head of the panchayat, (Mohinder Gujral), the punctured-tyre repair lady (Shanti Devi) or Ghalib’s sister-in-law (Gaurika Bhatt).
Ivan Ayr’s 97 minutes long film is unquestionably a reflection of the life that will keep you involved. Some might find the pace a tad bit slow but the story revolving around the life struggles of the characters will resonate with you throughout. The movie feels like just the beginning, not the end of the road.