Verdict: Aadhaar effectively portrays a common man’s struggles without taking any sides.

Sumon Ghosh’s Aadhaar is not your typical mainstream Bollywood movie. Set in a rural village of Jharkhand, this drama takes one through the struggles of the common individuals of the country where the Aadhaar card plays an important role in the story. Ever since this unique authentication number was made mandatory across India (and later made to be optional), we have all, at some point, been involved in a debate surrounding its legitimacy. While Ghosh’s film does not attempt to take any sides, it throws light on how the Aadhaar card has had an impact on Indian society.

What’s Aadhaar About:

Two government officers visit a small village in rural Jharkhand to set up a booth where the villagers can apply for their Aadhaar cards. Even though they stress the importance of getting the card, the villagers are not too convinced about how a number could change their simple lives. So, when Pharshua (Viineet Kumar) becomes the first person to enroll for the Aadhaar, the government officials decide to use him as an example to get other villagers to follow suit. The CM of Jharkhand personally visits Pharshua in the village and there’s a huge celebration with plenty of news coverage. But when Pharshua finally receives his Aadhaar card, the village jyotish (Sanjay Mishra) is convinced that the number would bring him bad luck and his wife would soon die unless he got it changed. In the effort to avoid his ill fate, Pharshua sets off to Ranchi to meet top government officials who could help him change his Aadhaar number, but everywhere he goes, he is only met with ignorance and contempt.

What Works:

Aadhaar has a unique storyline with a premise that every Indian can relate to, rich or poor, rural or urban. Using the Aadhaar card and its impact on society, Suman Ghosh has found a topic that can draw your attention and get you to watch the film. His cast does the rest. Viineet Kumar has always managed to pull off playing the part of a rural character with utmost ease and he is a natural as the poor, innocent Pharshua. His struggles may not be relatable but they definitely invoke sympathy for his character. Even if you do not believe in superstition, you find yourself rooting for Pharshua so his character can find peace. Viineet Kumar brings out all of these emotions with his sincere act. His dialogues are noteworthy too, adding a surprise layer of wisdom to his otherwise naïve personality.

Apart from the lead actor, Prrithvi makes a decent debut as Pharshua’s wife, even though her scenes are limited. Actors like Sanjay Mishra and Saurabh Shukla use their experience in comedy to bring in some moments of comic relief. Even Ekavali Khanna as the minister delivers a decent performance in her short appearance.

What Could’ve Been Better:

In the second half, the story may appear to be going nowhere as Pharshua tries everything he can to get his Aadhaar number changed. While things may seem a tad stretched here, these scenes are an important addition to the story as they help establish the hopelessness Pharshua’s character feels at that moment. Aadhaar also does not have a conclusive ending, so do not expect to be gratified. But at the same time, the credits scene may hold a surprise for you.

Why You Should Watch:

Aadhaar is a unique attempt by Suman Ghosh where Viineet Kumar gives a sincere performance. He definitely deserves a watch for this one so go check it out if you are craving good cinema with novel content and light-hearted comedy.