The film Ardhangini is about Simi and Abir who are childhood friends and soul mates from their school days. Abir is an orphan and stays with his elder sister. Sini on the other hand belongs to a rich Zamindar family whose glory may be lost but still they take pride in their lost glory. This is the reason why Sini’s father Udayan Sen goes against Abir and Sini’s match. He initially refuses to the match only to agree later on. He sends Abir to an address where he promises they will give him a job. It is after reaching the place that Abir realizes that he has been tricked. By the time he heads back, Simi has been brainwashed into marrying the son of her father’s friend. This tragedy makes Abir a drug addict. Due to Dr. Jyoti’s treatment he recovers from this addiction. He again meets Simi who is a widow now. Will they be able to start their relation again? This is what the film is all about.
The New Kolkata Bengali Movie Ardhangini can be aptly termed as “old wine in new bottle”. Director Avishek Mukherjee takes the audience on a trip to the films of the seventies and the early eighties with this film. The flashback technique used in which Dr. Jyoti goes through the diary of Abir to know about his past life is an often used technique in films. The plot of childhood lovers getting separated due to a strict father and later meeting again has a seventies and eighties touch to the treatment of the plot. However a question that kept on lingering in my mind till the end of the film was that why was this Bengali Movie even named Ardhangini? The lead pair does not marry and according to the Bengali meaning of this word, Ardhangani is one who is your partner for life or as we say better half. But that does not happen with this film. Another fact that will strike many seated in the audience is that the lead pair does not use mobile phones for communication purposes. Is that even possible in today’s age? This is a blunder that the spoke out loud about how casually the movie has been made.
Acting by the lead pair Meghna and Angshuman is a tad too melodramatic at times. Had the film been released in the seventies or eighties era, the audience would have lapped up their performance. But with the change of times, the tastes of the audience have also evolved but sadly enough the acting of the lead pair seems to be more inspired by the 70s icons and not today’s superstars and leading ladies who are both smart and talented. Rati Agnihotri who recently featured in Hindi Movie Purani Jeans with her real life son along with the other senior actors like Mahesh Manjerekar, Arpita Baker and George Baker are good in their roles as the parents. Pulokita Ghosh as Abir’s elder sister has nothing much to do apart from cooking delicacies for her brother.
Music by Choton Banerjee is “the listen and you forget” types. The music composer could have done better tracks so as to give a sense of freshness to this story. But alas he fails to make a mark too.
Ardhangini is one of those films which can be tolerated on television on a not too exciting afternoon but going to the theater to watch a film as this is an absolute ‘NO NO’ at least for the urban audience, though given the presentation it might as well appeal to a certain section of the masses in the districts.