Kaushik Ganguly’s relationship drama steers clear the possibility of falling flat by sheer brilliance in the acting and writing departments
Story: Suman Chatterjee’s (Kaushik Sen) cerebral attack and a subsequent comatose state bring his wife Meghna (Jaya Ahsan) and ex-wife Subhra (Churni Ganguly) together on a mission. In a non-linear progression, the film unfolds the layers of complex equations, social conventions, and dynamics of affection within and beyond a family.
Review: It is basically Kaushik Ganguly’s adroitness and Churni’s brilliance that transforms an innocuous family drama of sorts into a gripping tale of marital relationships. This is not the first film in which we have an on-screen confrontation between the former and present wives. But Kaushik is far too smart to make it a crass story of sentimentality. Instead, he presents an engaging and tasteful human drama.
In fact, in a sense, it is Churni’s film. The film revolves much around her point of view. It is disheartening to see that an actress of her calibre is largely confined to Kaushik Ganguly’s films and not explored by others. Side by side, it is Ambarish Bhattacharya who steals the show. His presentation of an unmarried youngest son in a large family is just perfect. Time and again the actor has established himself as a dependable actor.
Jaya shines with her unputdownable screen presence. She is engaging and graceful although her character is quite complex to handle. Besides, her charming dialect is beautifully utilised by Kaushik in this film. The powerful actor he is, Kaushik Sen takes a masterclass in acting every time he gets screen space. Daminee Benny Basu sparkles in a small but significant role. One would miss the grand opportunity of how a skilled actor gets into the skin of a character if they miss her performance.
Iman Chakraborty's song Ebhabe Here Jai leaves a mark.
Verdict: Kaushik Ganguly uses intimate frames, under emphatic lighting and restricted music skillfully. The high points of the film lie in the verbal duel between Jaya and Churni. The film is also dotted with powerful dialogues and fairly silently delivers powerful social messages. Ardhangini is an example of a tasteful Bengali family drama and surely a must-watch.