A review of Ivan Ayr’s sturdy, lyrical character study, Meel Patthar (Milestone), which premiered at the Venice Film Festival

Posted on September 4, 2020

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This moving tale of a trucker paints a portrait of an ecosystem where everything and everyone appears to be a metaphor for disuse, neglect, ageing.

Spoilers ahead…

Based on his two deeply empathetic features so far — both of which debuted in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the Venice Film Festival — Ivan Ayr likes slow-burn character studies set in the Delhi-NCR region. His first film, Soni (2018), revolved around a female cop who’s divorced. His latest, Meel Patthar (Milestone), revolves around a trucker whose wife has died recently. Both stories expand the emotional life of their singleton protagonists with a secondary character (an older female cop in Soni, a much-junior male apprentice here) — but this is not to indicate a pattern. Look beyond the structural (and perhaps coincidental) similarities, and you’ll sense two very different tones. Soni was a young film. It simmered with rage. Meel Patthar is more of a sigh, set at the other end of life. If the texture of the earlier film was hard-bitten journalistic prose, there’s more than a dash of poetry here. Look no further than the name of the man (played by Suvinder Vicky) whose life we follow: Ghalib.

Read the rest of this article here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/film-festivals/venice-international-film-festival/hindi-movies-review-meel-patthar-ivan-ayrs-sturdy-lyrical-character-study-premiere-baradwaj-rangan-suvinder-vicky/

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