While the first half shows some promise, the second half takes the predictable route — stretching too long and making you restless towards the end. However, Aro Ekbar can be a one-time watch.
Iraboti (Roopa Ganguly), Malobika (Indrani Halder) and Jhumur (Rituparna Sengupta) were best friends in college. Destiny brings them together after a gap of 25 years. Thus begins a new chapter of friendship. How their lives gradually change in the process is what the film is all about.
Who says girls don't make good friends? They fight, they bicker — but still you'll find them by your side when you need them most. While bromances in films are common these days, debutant director Ariziet Halder primarily broaches on a rarely-traversed subject like female bonding. And through his three protagonists, Iraboti, Malobika and Jhumur, he dwells on other peripheral topics like women empowerment, middle-age crisis, motherhood, marriage and what not.
Initially, we see Iraboti's life revolving around her family — her husband Arindam (Debesh) and son, Arko (Shaheb). Though she protests whenever her husband tries to impose his decisions on her, Iraboti feels helpless inside. Malobika, who's now a widow, returns to Kolkata from Delhi with her daughter Avantika (Saayoni). After a chance meeting with Iraboti, the duo decides to hunt for Jhumur. And they do find her in a rather sorry state. After her divorce, Jhumur had taken to alcohol. A school teacher by profession, she now leads a lonely life, with just a cook by her side. Past experiences have turned her bitter. But deep down, she still yearns for love and companionship.
Instead of dwelling on the times gone by, the three friends decide to start afresh. Iraboti musters courage to fight for her rights. She leaves home to create an identity of her own. Jhumur gives up alcohol and we see Malobika in a happy space with her daughter. But no story is complete without twist and turns, right? Eventually, all good things come to an end. The three friends get embroiled in a tiff over Malobika's daughter, who gets pregnant with Arko's child. Avantika leaves home to stay with Jhumur. So, what happens next? Do we see a shadow of Dil Aashna Hai here? Well, let's leave that to the audience.
The film has its moments and manages to explore the relationships between three friends —highlighting the fact that women in their 40s can have fun too. But Aro Ekbar still doesn't meet the usual standards of good filmmaking — in terms of cinematography, direction or script. In the acting department, the younger actors give a far mature performance than the seniors, who go OTT every now or then. Saayoni and Shaheb are naturals and share a good on-screen chemistry. The scenes where Avantika confronts Arko and when Arko finally comes to meet Malobika are well executed.
Roopa Ganguly, the fantastic actress she is, appears bored at times. Rituparna and Indrani simply go with the flow. The characters try too hard to portray themselves as cool and happening, which come across as a bit juvenile. We would have been better off without their dancing around trees and bursting into song sequences. Nevertheless, the three actresses look gorgeous on screen. The male counterparts — Debesh and Ferdous — fill in the gaps by playing perfect foils.
While the first half shows some promise, the second half takes the predictable route — stretching too long and making you restless towards the end. However, Aro Ekbar can be a one-time watch in between your puja shopping.