If I have to choose only one director who’s every film I love to see innumerable number of times till I die, he is none other than beloved Hrishikesh Mukherji. Every time I watched any of his film for the first time or in repeat viewing I feel it as soothing experience to both my mind and heart and give me same refreshing feel of life full of sunshine. Like me, he made his millions of fans laugh and cry through breathing humanitarian cinema. His every film was such a fulfilling experience.
I watched Mili many times. The reasons are so many- Jaya Bachchan (one of the dearest Hrishida actress), Amitabh (untouched by his angry young man image and stardom), Ashok kumar (thespian of all character actors in India), Burmanda’s three golden melodies and Hrishida’s midas touch.
Funny, mischievous, sharp witted, sweet and lovable Mili is the soul sister of colony’s flat. His family members can even bet that she can’t remain mute even for thirty seconds. Such a vibrant and impatient chatter bird she is! She’s so dear girl to everyone and anyone who meets her for first time.The Company of Mili even cracked the hardest nut that purchased the room on terrace recently. Confronted with Mili, the masochistic self destructive drunkard slowly transforms into nice human being. And it’s this moment, he realized that she’s struggling with her life and has few days to live.
Though Hrishida’s earlier classic ‘Anand’ was quite similar in plot, this film serves quite higher purpose. Anand was more light hearted film which ends too darkly where Mili is more about fulfilling desires and wish of a dying person who has a few days to live. If Anand was humanitarian account of a doctor and his friendly incurable patient, Mili is heaving love story between a transformed soul and a girl which ends with quite hopeful positive ends. Hrishida kept it open ended to audience interpretation. The film has so many touching and memorable scenes- the sorry scene where innocent kids guided by their elder sister begging Amitabh to pardon them…simple and yet so touchy scene. Another where Amitabh tactfully proposes Jaya to marry him. Only Hrishida could bring smile and tear in a single scene like this. Or the one which touched me most- where Mili comes to see the stars with telescope and philosophize the life with relationship of stars and sun.
There’s no other actress who can carry such a natural performance as adorable Jaya Bachchan. She’s having so much grace in her full of life character. It’s Hrishida’s films where she gave her consummate best. Hrishida was like her second father. Other stalwart of Hrishida camp including Amitabh and Dadamuni too performed so believable characters. It’s still unknown by many that the maximum number of Amitabh’s films rests in the account of none other than Hrishida and all of them are just above compared to others who made him angry young man or superstar in 70’s and 80’s.