Milestone review – a film that speaks to our resiliency

By Marc Miller
Published: May 7, 2021 (Last updated: last month)
Netflix Indian film Milestone


Ivan Ayr’s Milestone is a film that speaks to our resiliency.

This review of the Netflix Indian film Milestone, also known as Meel Patthar, contains no spoilers. The drama was released on the streaming service on May 7, 2021. 

“Those who read a man by his clothes, cannot be expected to read much,” is what the guru tells his young apprentice. When that lad tells him that the other truck drivers call him a hero who has a passion for his work, his stoic response is a telling one. “Don’t they always, once you turn grey?”

Milestone (also known as Meel Patthar) is a fascinating character study from Indian director Ivan Ayr. A native of Northern India, his film is a close-up portrait of a man on his last legs. It’s an unassuming work; a slice of life of a man dragged down by his loyalty to tradition, all while being backed into a corner in a world that moves on quickly before you take notice.

Like the region itself, Netflix’s Milestone is spoken partially in the Punjabi language. As the protagonist, Ghalib (Suvinder Vicky), originally from Kuwait, works in the New Delhi region, where the majority speaks Hindi. He hurt his back, and he can see the writing on the wall when he is asked to train a young man, Pash (Lakshvir Saran). His bosses want to learn the job, with him acting as a guru. This is an eyebrow-raising development for Ghalib since after he hurt his back, there is less and less work to do.

The main protagonist is stuck in a perplexing triangle many find themselves in at an older age. Ghalib is locked in a time capsule where he has aged and not progressed, all while being in a state of suspended animation. It’s a world that has not changed, but the people around him are moving on without him. He has one foot in his village in North East India and is beholden to his elders. Yet, New Dehli is an area that has progressively moved away from respecting senior individuals. There was a time having valuable experience used to command respect.

This is all going on while he is mourning the death of his wife. The job is all he has left, putting in extra hours at work to cope with the loss. You can see the emotional toll and wheel running through every crease on Vicky’s weathered forehead and wrinkled brow. It’s a moving performance, filled with detached and inauspicious undertones. This is matched by Angello Faccini’s stunning and ominous cinematography. 

Ayr’s Milestone is a perfect follow-up to his meaty character study, Soni. Filmed right up to the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, it’s a film that many will relate to nowadays; isolation, loneliness, and generations fighting to keep their spot in the world or take it for themselves. And most of all, it speaks to one’s resiliency.

Ivan Ayr’s Milestone is a film that speaks to our resiliency.

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