Millie Lies Low follows Millie (Ana Scotney) a talented architect student from Wellington who just landed herself her dream internship in New York for a prestigious architecture company.
Just before the plane is about to take off Millie battles herself mentally about going and gets off the plane. After getting off the plane and realising she has no money for another ticket, Millie’s fight or flight responses kick in and Millie is now having to figure out how she’s going to get the money for her flight, all while posing as though she’s living life in New York and hiding the truth from her family and friends.
Although Millie struggles with her anxiety and coming to acceptance that she suffers from anxiety, the balance of cringe, comedy and head shaking moments are some that you can’t help but enjoy seeing. Millie’s quick-thinking kicks into gear when she’s faced with new challenges throughout the film. I found there are moments throughout where you’re thinking, “Oh No Millie! What are you doing?” and you can’t help but root for her to get on track again.
This film is a great depiction of how young adults impulsively react to challenges with friends, family, and struggles. One relationship that starts off as quite strained is with her mum, played by Rachel House. The chemistry that House and Scotney have as mother-daughter is believable and their acting is superb.
I’m impressed with how Michelle Savill weaves comedy throughout to create such a well-balanced film. There are moments where you really feel for Millie and the struggles that she’s facing internally with both finding herself and trying to make things work. The funny one-liners and moments make those tough moments light-hearted without taking away from the important lessons Millie learns throughout. You can see the growth in Millie as the film progresses and how she learns about her relationships with her friends and family, and more importantly, herself.
Millie Lies Low touches on the themes of self-discovery, mental health. While Millie’s trying to find the funds to get her to New York before anyone notices her still roaming around Wellington, she’s still figuring out herself at the same time as learning about her relationships with those closest to her and coming to terms with her anxiety.
You can’t help but sympathise with Millie throughout but there are moments where you’re shaking your head wanting her to pull through, you can get a real sense of understanding of how some young adults act impulsively in situations while trying to maintain the status quo. We see that when she’s roughing it on the streets of Wellington while posing on social media that she’s living her best life in New York. The lengths she goes to just to maintain the narrative are real struggles that young adults go through of trying to find themselves while maintaining a certain image on social media.
Seeing Millie navigate through situations had me laughing, crying, cringing all in one. I found this coming-of-age film to be a refreshing take on the usually played out storyline of a girl finding herself, working through relationships and life lessons that leave you feeling a sense of self reflection. Millie Lies Low is a very enjoyable and relatable film, and we all know a Millie or have probably had a few ‘Millie moments’ ourselves.
Millie Lies Low is in cinemas now.