Mili v/s Helen! Comparisons inevitable but Janhvi Kapoor isn’t weighed down by it

Father Boney Kapoor defends his daughter citing the example of Mehboob Khan’s Mother India [1957] that was a remake of Khan’s earlier film Aurat [1950].

1. Janhvi Kapoor in Mili [2022]. 2. Anna Ben in Helen [2019]

By Mayur Lookhar

Every aspect of a star kid is scrutinized to the minute details. As if the pressure of being a star kid is not enough, actors like Janhvi Kapoor face further pressure when they pick up remakes. Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s daughter had made her debut with Dhadak [2018] that was the Hindi remake of popular Marathi film Sairat [2016]. She will soon be seen in a survival thriller Mili [2022] that is the Hindi remake of acclaimed Malayalam film Helen [2019].  Both films are directed by Mathukutty Xavier. Anna Ben played the titular character in Helen.

First Dhadak and now Mili, Kapoor was asked on whether there was any pressure to do remakes as comparisons with the original are inevitable.

“Honestly, that [comparisons] happens with me anyway. I try not to look at it in such a calculative way. I had seen Helen. I was thrilled to be working with someone like Mathukutty sir. He made a film with such finesse, passion and heart. That was the excitement in it for me,” said Janhvi.

“I thought it was something new and challenging. So, I took it up. Also, I felt that Helen hadn’t reached to the North Indian audience as it wasn’t dubbed in Hindi. Even with the script, you are getting a character written by someone else. You are interpreting it. I’m getting something that was interpreted by someone else in a certain way. I’m getting a fresh version of it, and I’ve interpreted in my way,” quipped Janhvi.

It was here that her father and producer Boney Kapoor chose to remind us on a piece of history.

“Mother India [1957] was a remake of its own version. Nargis bagged all the major film awards.  It was a big success. In fact, whenever a new single screen theatre came up, they opened with Mother India as they knew it will run houseful for 28 weeks. Nowhere in Nargis ji’s performance you saw the nuances of the Sardar Akhtar, who had done the original Aurat [1940]. So, it depends entirely on the actor who is doing the present job,’ said Boney

Both Helen and Mili tell the story of a girl who gets locked inside a cold storage. We asked Janhvi whether she is the new Ice Ice Baby.? “If you want to call me that you are free to so do.  I love compliment,” she replied.

While the public and media rate the film, but often actors are best judge of their own work. However, for the first time an actor will be measuring her performance in the unit of Fahrenheit or Celsius?.

Kapoor broke into a smile. She says, “I guess so. It is funny you said that because the day when the freezer was at its lowest, I knew that my performance will come from within.  So, I knew I’ll perform well that day.”

Mili [2022] is set to be released on 4 November.


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