Onto the next release of the elaborate weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi film Ardh streaming on Zee5 for free. It was in 2020 just before the first lockdown that I had visited a theatre to watch the Sanjay Mishra starrer Kaamyaab which I believe was the best film of the year. It was shocking as a brilliant film like Kaamyaab had no takers with the audience opting for Baaghi 3 which was at best, trash! When it comes to genuine performers, I feel the audience is less privy to watching and accepting their favourite “character artists” as leading men. I really feel the audience should just look at cinema as good or bad irrespective of the actors who play protagonists.
Having said that, there are so many actors who make their way to the City Of Dreams Mumbai to pursue their dreams only to barely be able to make ends meet. You genuinely feel sorry and it would indeed be a hard life. Tackling a similar subject is Ardh starring Rajpal Yadav. So then is Ardh worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Ardh follows the story of a struggling actor who has to take up multiple jobs in order to survive and continue to live his dream in Mumbai. The story has its heart in the right place. The screenplay has several heartwarming and gut wrenching moments which will consistently keep you invested. The tone of the drama is a comedy and the treatment here is simple. The drama unfolds at a brisk pace, and the same can be made out by its runtime of just 83 minutes. A drawback though is that the screenplay at times feels like a collection of scenes which moves from one event to the other. But the good news is that the film has its heart in the right place.
There are many sequences which are heartwarming where you genuinely feel for the character. His idea of earning some money at any cost be it him dressing up like a transgender and begging for it or taking up random jobs to meet the daily needs of him and his family is really touching. The character of the protagonist is so well fleshed out that you genuinely connect with the honesty of the character while overlooking some of the flaws of the screenplay. But life isn’t fair always and it leads up to a gut wrenching final act which does leave a bit of a void. Overall, a nicely penned screenplay which is crisp and has hits heart in the right place.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
Some of the lines are cringy and they give you a feel of the late 90s. I really wished some lines were better penned. The music is good but the BGM could have been better by almost playing with the feelings of the audience. The cinematography gives you an impression of this being a student film or a youtube sketch. The production value is really low and you can make out that this film is made on a really tight budget. Director Palash Muchhal has done a pretty good job although his direction is rough around the edges. But his core emotion which he invests in, is intact and that is what primarily drives the film.
The performances are pretty good here. Hiten Tejwani as Satya has his moments to shine. Runina Dilaik as Madhu is really sincere and honest and it reflects in her performance. One of my favourite scenes involves her and Rajpal Yadav towards the end when the latter breaks down. Which brings me to Rajpal Yadav who is a legend. As Shiva, he lives every bit of his character. He makes you laugh and cry and also empathize with him towards the end. To watch your dream die isn’t easy and he just portrays it with so much honesty and vulnerability that it is hard not to fall in love with his character.
Ardh is a small film with a big heart which deserves to be watched despite its flaws for its honesty. Available on Zee5.