Milestone, also known as Meel Patthar, premiered on 7th May 2021 on Netflix. Directed by Ivan Ayr, the 98-minutes long film stars Suvinder Vicky as Ghalib in the lead role.
The film premiered in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival on 3 September 2020. It was also screened at the 25th Busan International Film Festival and the Pingyao International Film Festival. Meel Patthar/Milestone bagged the Best Film award while Vicky was given the Best Performer Award in the Asian feature film category at the Singapore International Film Festival.
Milestone is a man’s story portrayed through a journey. The film revolves around Ghalib, who was born and raised in Kuwait and now works in Delhi as a truck driver due to which he is always on the move. Unlike others, Ghalib has completed 5 lakh km with his truck and is one of the best in his work. Ghalib struggles with constant backache but nothing stops him from doing his thing. As the film continues, we see different aspects of his life through his journey and relations.
The soundscape of the driver’s bay, the checkpoint, the chatter between drivers, and the routine: load up, drive, transfer, rest, repetition are all captured in Milestone. As Ghalib climbs the stairs to his dusty flat, we overhear Kashmiri residents grumbling. His wife’s family, who are from Sikkim, is now claiming restitution after her death. Things take a turn for Ghalib when his job is threatened by a younger worker, a newbie named Pash (Lakshvir Saran). To eradicate the situation he also offers the young boy a hefty amount.
As the film continues, we follow Ghalib on his journey as he deals with the lows of his life. Milestone follow-up to his character study. It was shot just before COVID-19 broke out last year, and it’s a story that many people will relate to today: alienation, uncertainty, and generations battling to maintain or take their place in the world. Most importantly, it emphasises one’s resiliency.
Milestone, in its entirety, is blue and grey in its mood. There is a calm in Ghalib’s character that is painful. The dialogues are beautifully written and there is a lot to read between the lines here. One such dialogue is when one of Ghalib’s dear friends who was fired comes in drunk to his house. He says soon enough the world will turn deaf, listening to someone is a virtue very few people have. It is like when we see a beggar knocking at our car windows we pretend to be deaf but despite it all, there will still be speakers but no one to hear. And well, for the longest of time, nothing has made more sense.
Ghalib’s journey is not just the story of a truck driver but more or less it is the story of every single person out there. It reflects grief, despair, loneliness, fear, and more. In one of the scenes, Ghalib says “I do this job because this is who I am. My misery lies in the fact that this is all I am.” And there is no doubt in the fact that this misery holds hundreds of others. The film does not force the viewers to understand Ghalib but rather it gives them time to see, process, and relate.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Milestone, throughout its 98 minutes, keeps you engaged through its realism and brilliant performance by both Lakshvir Saran and Suvinder Vicky. The film is worth your time and a great addition to realism portraying films on Netflix.
Milestone is streaming now on Netflix .
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