The only positive about the movie Ardhanari is that it discusses an issue that rarely gets a place in the limelight. Through a usual emotional drama, the director is trying to convey both emotional and social issues faced by hijadas. Even though the movie is loyal to its intend, the outdated style of making makes this movie a tiring and predictable watch.
The movie revolves around the inner conflicts of Vinayan/ Vineetha. He is male by birth but he has a mind and feelings of a female. When society and family fails to understand him, he decides to go away from them and to find a place where he will considered as a common one. In his search he ends up in a place called Hamam, where the hijadas live together with their own principles and rituals. Hamam offers him a way to live his entire life as a hijada by staying there one year. When he finally becomes a hijada issues starts to accumulate. Betrayal, misunderstanding and mental torture breaks him completely.
The basic problem with this movie is its style of making. It’s almost like watching a divine serial of the 90’s or the melodramatic soaps of the 80’s. Even in the performance side also, the younger Manoj K Jayan was quite artificial at quite a lot of places. One thing that impressed me is towards the climax were the title protagonists reminds the audience that in the holy books, hijadas had were given a place with dignity and now we don’t even consider them in a basic application form itself. The predictability of the script and the repetition of situations also make it quite boring.
On screen, as I said earlier Manoj K Jayan was disturbing as the younger one with his portrayal almost going to a comical level rather than a convincing level. Maniyan Pilla Raju’s character had less fun scenes and apart from those scenes he also did well. Thilakan was good. Sukumari was also smooth. Jayakrishnan, Sai Kumar, Irshad and the actress who played the role of Kokila were also comfortable in their roles.
In the making, the direction of Santhosh Sowparnika is quite outdated and the screenplay is predictable and dull. The dialogs are over dramatic at occasions and never go to a practical level. Cinematography is satisfying with a few impressive Crain shots. BGM of the movie is totally annoying especially in the second half of the movie. Pattanam Rasheed’s makeup deserves a special mention as it plays an important role in the making. M G Sreekumar could have used a few more singers or a different kind of orchestration for this movie.
On the whole Ardhanari is nowhere near its expectations and I am really disappointed. As a movie I believe it deserves only a 1.5. But for the plot and its relevance I am giving an additional 0.5. First production of MG Sreekumar gets a 2/5 from here. Outdated to its core!
Ardhanari is nowhere near its expectations and I am really disappointed.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended