Director: Rawindra Pulle
Forged: Karthik Rathnam, Krishna Priya, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Ajay, Naveen Chandra, Aamani
The synopsis for Ardha Shathabdham, on Aha, says, “After 5 many years of Independence, India’s rural panorama nonetheless throws up unanswerable questions. Can a love story deliver a revolution? Witness this earthy love story set within the early 2000s.” Properly, that seems like a thick plot regarding love and mayhem, proper? Perhaps, your coronary heart tells you that you simply’re going to dive right into a swirling romantic drama. Or possibly your thoughts takes the reins and declares that the scales are going to tip closely in favor of violence.
Whereas there’s certainly mayhem, it’s not the sort that you simply’d like to look at on display. It doesn’t take too lengthy so that you can twist your face in disgust and quit on the movie. All it takes is ten minutes after which, you’ll both be pondering of renouncing earthly pleasures for good or shifting to a different streaming platform to catch one thing that’s a little bit extra comforting. Fridays must be about placing your toes up and stress-free. It shouldn’t contain voluntarily getting into a dungeon and providing your head on a platter to the beast of unentertaining cinema.
Though, it’s actually heartening to see filmmakers boldly taking on the topic of casteism and spinning tales round discrimination, it’s a weapon that must be used completely. Additionally, the political remark that they’re making have to be related for the twenty-first century. Ardha Shathabdham begins with the tried-and-tested recipe of what seems to be a person who’s fallen head over heels in love with a girl. However that is by no means revolutionary. That is the fundamental plotline of greater than ninety p.c of Indian motion pictures.
Krishna (Karthik Rathnam) stalks Pushpa (Krishna Priya) from dawn to sundown. He has identified her since his faculty days — they studied collectively. Nonetheless, he has by no means gathered the braveness to precise his innermost ideas to her. His pals encourage him to open his mouth, however he’s too shy to do the needful. He smiles at her from a distance and feels as if he’s over the moon when she pays a cursory look at him. This black-paper-flavored story maybe desires to show into vanilla, however the cone is so bottomless you can witness your sanity slipping with every passing minute.
As Krishna follows Pushpa and desires of a full-fledged wedding ceremony the place he’s showered with consideration, you marvel if there’s something extra to it. And, at that exact second of enlightenment, the magic occurs — the magic of a landslide. A stream of chaotic confrontations takes place the place individuals go on a killing spree. The murders usually are not solely related to the bone of Ardha Shathabdham, however they proceed to color the village — during which the film is ready — crimson at an alarming fee.
Males, younger and outdated, drop useless for causes corresponding to rivalry and revenge — even characters that seem for a short interval are killed in ghastly manners. The extraordinary level behind this orgy of violence appears to be riddled in the truth that India is a casteist and sexist nation. This isn’t a brand new idea. We already know that.
A politician (performed by Subhalekha Sudhakar) and a policeman (portrayed by Ajay) then enter the story and have a discourse on the structure. The previous talks about Akhand Bharat and goes on to elucidate the way it’s essential for individuals like him to take care of the established order. If all of the armchair activists are introduced beneath one roof, they’ll most likely have such heated discussions on issues associated to regulation and order.
Have we realized something from our bloody historical past? No! Have we, as a society, begun to look past caste? No. In Ardha Shathabdham, individuals from the higher castes routinely remove the Dalits by means of the powers they wield with out providing a floor for its politics to stay. It’s completely foolish. In a single scene, a communist raises his voice in opposition to discrimination, and, then in one other, the identical fellow makes use of a casteist slur whereas arguing concerning the rights and wrongs of tradition.
Since there’s no actual love story as such to carry on to, it turns into arduous to empathize with Krishna’s struggles. For him, it’s real love. And for the remainder of us, it’s true ache. And since everyone picks up sickles, you received’t perceive whom to root for.
Sai Kumar, who performs Pushpa’s father, mouths a handful of zany strains right here and there. However they don’t come wherever near those he delivered in Prasthanam (2010). His character, to start with, comes throughout because the voice of purpose. Nonetheless, because the film progresses, you’ll lose curiosity in his folksy metaphors, as properly.
With so many ready performers in a single movie (consider Kumar, Rathnam, Ajay, Naveen Chandra, and Aamani), Ardha Shathabdham ought to have truly soared into the sky, nevertheless it doesn’t!