When ‘script’ is the hero of a film, everything else falls into place! No stars required! No pompous songs. Gippy Grewal proves this, but this time by being behind the lens!
Having donned the director’s hat with Ardaas, Gippy Grewal, proves his latent talent as a maker, from the very first scene of the film. Ardaas, which is a story combining multiple stories into one, linking varied characters together, in a moving tale of faith, love and humanity, can easily be called as Punjabi cinema’s one of the finest multi-stranded stories. What really makes Gippy’s role as a director special in Ardaas is the fact that he ably keeps these stories on track, cutting back and forth and never letting the viewer’s interest fade away.
Although the movie deals with poignant issues, yet Ardaas doesn’t get boring at all, precisely because it doesn’t preach! Even the character of Gurpreet Ghuggi as a school teacher doesn’t come across as a preacher. He puts his point across politely and the movie itself lets us figure out the underlying lesson behind the dialogues!
Powerfully scripted and flawlessly acted, Ardaas scores brownie points for its breathtaking cinematography (Baljit Singh Deo) as well. Baljit Deo, who generally likes making films abroad, this time shows what a powerhouse of talent he is, by making even an average Punjabi ‘pind’ look like a paradise. By employing different filters and techniques, Deo gives each locale in the film a splendid flavour.
One of the most interesting parts of Ardaas is to see the actors like Ghuggi, B.N. Sharma, Rana Ranbir, and Sardar Sohi giving intensely moving performances, reminding us that they are much more capable than doing comedy and offering glib one-liners. The hospital scene where Ghuggi cries his heart out gives goose bumps while all scenes involving Rana Ranbir and the little girl are moving. Undoubtedly, these actors have given the performances of their lifetime and shown us how versatile they are.
Mandy Takhar has a small role but she sure, leaves an indelible mark with whatever screentime she managed to grab. During the climax when she unites with her husband, it’s her expressions that do all the talking. What a superb transformation from the last role that she enacted in Sardaarji. Isha Rikhi doesn’t get much to do and her Punjabi dancing skills are also poor. Meher Vij shines as Ghuggi’s wife. What a terrific actor she is!
To round out the large cast, Gippy recruited an exceptional group of actors. Hats off to him for not just selecting them but also extracting fine performances from them. Ammy Virk is superb with a role absolutely tailor-made for him. Zora Randhawa, who makes a debut in the film, has a small but significant role to play. The role suits him well.
Music of the film by Jatinder Shah ji is excellent – soul soothing and transporting one into a meditative state for a while! I especially, liked the song by Kanwar Grewal – ‘Fakeera’.
Finally, the narrative of Ardaas is rich, tightly woven, and consistently involving, with powerful performances. In many ways, Ardaas is not meant to be an intellectual drama, although it touches and neatly packages almost all the social issues of Punjab like female foeticide, casteism, farmers’ suicides, drug addiction, craze to settle abroad and so on. Rather, it’s an emotional film that hinges on the threads of hope; and the idea that the faith in Almighty can solve most of the problems in life. We just need to trust! Despite being a social drama, Ardaas is entertaining in its own ways. Dialogues are awesome – some totally hilarious while some forcing you to think, and think even moments after they’ve been said…
Go to watch Ardaas with your family. This is one film that you cannot afford to miss!
Ballewood Rating: 4/5