Rajpal Yadav, Rubina Dilaik, Hiten Tejwani, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Swastik Tiwari
What’s The Story
‘Ardh’ follows the story of a struggling actor in Mumbai who dresses up as a eunuch in order to earn a livelihood as he keeps giving auditions for lead roles in films. With a supportive family, he tries to make a living and also keeps chasing his dream. The film shows a stark reality of struggling actors in Mumbai coming from small towns across India in order to make it big in the film industry.
Rajpal Yadav As A Eunuch Is Terrific
Rajpal Yadav is the only good thing about this film. He takes the weight of the entire story on his shoulders. Not just in the storyline but also by adding his intrinsic mannerisms and antics to make the character as fun and as relatable as possible. Also, his look as a eunuch is very good. To add to that, the nuances he manages to bring into the performance as the eunuch is terrific. He returns to playing a leading role after a really long time, otherwise, he has been doing decently well in smaller roles in recent films like ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ and ‘Coolie No. 1’, etc.
Palash Muchhal's Execution Kills The Film
However good Rajpal Yadav may have performed, there is no way you can pass on a 51-year-old man as a 37-year-old man. It just doesn’t fit.
Palash Muchhal’s direction is amateurish, to say the least. There are scenes where you’re expecting that something big is going to happen and suddenly there is a jump cut to some other scene, and that entire heightening up of the emotions is gone to waste. Another issue is the interludes between the scenes. In today’s movies, you don’t get to even feel when one scene is getting over and the other starts. However, in Muchhal’s presentation, there are numerous times where you get to feel a blackout of the screens and then the fading in of the next scene. In today’s technologically advanced times, it doesn’t look that professional, that’s all. The editing by Nitin Fcp is also to be blamed here.
Also, Muchhal and Nitin Fcp have edited the story so short that it ends up in about an hour and twenty minutes around. While it’s a good thing to have a shorter size of a film, in this case, the story seems like the part of a bigger story and doesn’t seem complete. In the end, it feels as if you’re left hanging to know what happens next. Did the struggling actor finally make it with a stroke of luck? Or does he leave it all just to fend for his family? Audiences would never know.
To add to the directorial woes, the story and writing by Palash Muchhal come out like a sore thumb in the presentation. The story of struggling actors doing odd jobs to make a living till they get a decent enough project in films or TV shows is quite a common topic. The differentiator was the eunuch angle, which Muchhal didn’t capitalise on. He has wasted the entire plot about a struggling actor dressing up as a eunuch to earn a livelihood for his family during the struggle days. In trying to incorporate some hilarious funny antics of Rajpal Yadav, the serious storyline around the character of the eunuch is completely sidelined, otherwise, it itself could have been a great plot to explore.
Rubina Dilaik has been wasted in a role that was way beneath her stature. Baring a heartfelt dialogue during the climax of the scene, she barely even talks throughout the film. Not a great debut in films for the ‘Bigg Boss 14’ winner. The same goes for Hiten Tejwani, who is barely even there.
The film’s music, also by Palash Muchhal, has a couple of good tracks like ‘Ishq Ka Manjha’ and ‘Soja Chanda Re’, but they all come out so abruptly that you’re not pleased. Muchhal could have just used the songs in the background and the rest of the soundtrack could have been just put up on YouTube or elsewhere.
Shooting a film about the film industry and about a struggling actor shouldn’t be too difficult in a city like Mumbai, but cinematographer Parvez Pathan doesn’t manage to bring something new to the table. The scenes look outdated and very similar to quite a number of films that may have been done on the same topic. Nothing new in the way the city has been shown up.
Rajpal Yadav’s ‘Ardh’ is a much inferior version of Sanjay Mishra’s ‘Kaamyaab’ which was directed by Hardik Mehta. While the story in such films is pretty much known to everyone sitting in the audience, what differentiated ‘Ardh’ was the angle where Yadav plays a eunuch. However, the terrible execution of the project led to that not being explored too much. Sadly, this is a downer and way below Yadav’s calibre. ‘Kaamyaab’ was a way better presentation of a slightly similar problem. Watch that on OTT and give ‘Ardh’ a miss. Totally avoid.