Vinayan (Manoj K Jayan) is a man with the sensibilities and emotions of a woman. He flees from home after his own brother tries to kill him and his male lover ditches him.
Now he reaches an old bungalow in a village in Tamil Nadu, where people from the group live, completely obeying their leader Naik, played by the inimitable Thilakan. Vinayan gets respect and affection there. He has the option to become a woman, but he learns that he can be a man and a woman at the same time.
Ardhanaari is a brave attempt and need to be appreciated for its content, which shows the life of a population who would preferably be forgotten by the rest of the world. But the problem is the way it has been narrated with dramatic lines and the feel of a documentary at times.
The best thing about the film is a dedicated involvement by most of the film's cast. Manoj K Jayan, who has played some terrific roles in the past, gives his heart and soul to the character and comes up with a brilliant performance, which needs a pat on his back.
The visuals by Hemachandran and M S Sreekumar's music are really good. Pattanam Rasheed's amazing make up skills are at display in this film.
Ardhanaari could have been much better, but the sincerity of its makers needs to be appreciated for sure.