The ApunKaChoice movie review of Zindagi 50-50. Save for Veena Malik’s zest in playing a prostitute, everything’s pretty much 50-50 in this film by writer-director Rajiv S. Ruia. It’s a half-baked tale of half-fulfilled dreams, half-crushed hopes that wouldn’t be half as bad had the director put his full heart into it.
Zindagi 50-50 tells the tale of three different women and how they have to make compromises and learn harsh realities of life as they go about fulfilling their dreams and desires.
Rupa (Supriya Kumari) and her auto-driver husband (Rajan Verma) have a dream of owning a house to be allotted by MHADA. A daring woman who wouldn’t take anyone’s slight lying down, Rupa has to make the ultimate compromise to realize her husband’s dream.
Madhuri (Veena Malik) is a sex worker happy being so because she has a lots of dreams to fulfill. Things take a shocking turn for her when she realizes that there’s more to life than lust and money.
Naina (Riya Sen) is a wannabe starlet who thinks she’s got what it takes to make the cut in films. A struggling director (Arya Babbar) loves her but can’t fulfill her dreams. A bigshot producer can, but he wants something in return.
Rest assured there’s a lot of sleaze and lust on display in Zindagi 50-50. And it’s quite ironic that a film that attempts to show the exploitation that women suffer at different strata of our society almost ends up doing the same to them, all in the name of pulling in footfalls at the box office. Veena Malik’s cleavage is the unwavering focus of the cinematographer’s lens in almost every scene featuring her. Likewise, scenes of sexploitation featuring Riya Sen and Supriya Kumari are thrown in for good measure, making one wonder if this is a sleazy B film or a serious musing on the exploitation of fairer sex. May be 50-50.
Performances are no great shakes to rave about. Veena Malik infuses lots of energy, verve and conviction into her portrayal of a fiercely pragmatic and unapologetic sex worker. Brownie points to her for that. Supriya Kumari comes up with the best act as a housewife made to do the unthinkable for the sake of her husband. She’s a spitfire one moment, a guilt-ridden wife the next. Riya Sen is the eye-candy in designer duds. Rajan Verma makes a fair fist of his act as the auto-driver. From the sidelines Arya Babbar (as the goofy, bumbling, wannabe director) and Rajpal Yadav (as the public servant) chip in well.
The music is passable and dialogues are liberally sprinkled with colloquial lingo, including the expletives that invoke the other person’s ma and behen more often than not.