Ivan Ayr made a splash at the international circuit with an engrossing women-cop drama, Soni, released in 2018. The brilliant director is back with yet another riveting tale of a truck driver in Milestone.
Milestone (Meel Patthar) tells the story of Ghalib, a bereaved truck driver whose world falls apart when he loses his wife and performs his duty not just to survive but to escape the state of loneliness. He faces the challenge when the Delhi Transport company hires an intern who pose a threat to his job.
There are couple of things before you begin to watch Milestone. It is not a film that will cheer you nor it has any commercial aspect that will entertain you to the core. Milestone is a craft which gets as real as possible. The protagonist played brilliantly by Suvinder Vicky is very much like a common man with tons of responsibility, life filled with problems and challenges, sleepless nights, frustration and anger. However, life goes on and get so heavy making your beard hair turn gray coupled with backaches. Yet, Ghalib does not shy or run away. He stands for his peer who is beaten up by a local party, pays handsomely to his in-law to settle for his wife’s untimely death as per his village panchayat’s decision and even helps a unknown woman find her brother who goes missing for a week.
The best part of watching Milestone is the characters around Ghalib are so real. Right from the father-son duo who runs the Delhi Transport, society people who are complaining and blabbering about the lift not working to Ghalib’s neighbor who reminds him about the pain his wife was suffering in his absence. Milestone is a slow-burn desolated film which will keep you engrossed but at the same time is not everyone’s cup of tea considering the current situation. Another highlight of Milestone is the magnificent camera work by Angello Faccini capturing the North India highway, rugged terrain to the enriching climax as the rain falls on the windshield of Ghalib’s truck.
Even though it is 98 minutes flick devoid of any light-hearted scene, the screenplay was good keeping me engrossed as I was curious to know more about Ghalib. Art direction evoked a cultural and emotional reaction while background score could have made it better ( I wish something similar to beautiful track composed by Ludovico Einaudi in Nomadland).
Milestone belonged to the Punjabi actor Suvinder Vicky who perfectly plays the role of Ghalib to T. Suvinder Vicky has less dialogues but more of expression which he does with a aplomb. His impeccable acting makes Milestone worth-watching as get engaged with world of truck drivers in India. As I said, the side actors were brilliant as they played the real life character so appropriately.
Milestone is like painting a picture on the canvas which gets better with deep and intense characters who bring out life in a story of a lonesome truck driver. Good 3/5
Milestone is produced by Jabberwockee Talkies and is currently streaming on Netflix.