The weekend is here and we are here with some fresh reviews for you to pick and choose. But before that if you need to step out then please wear a mask, keeping your hand sanitizers handy and your hands clean. But mostly for the weekend try staying indoors and keep checking our site for some freshly brewed reviews. Fitst up is the anthology film from Bollywood called Ajeeb Daastaans. Late last year, I had watched one of the best anthology films in recent times called Paava Kadhaigal and since then I have fallen in love with this genre. If you look closely each anthology film has some gems to unearth. Will this film continue the trend, stay tuned in our unique template for anthology films. So here we go.
Majnu: A story of a couple featuring a gangster who is forced to marry against his will until he is acquainted with a third dimension. Will that prove to be costly. As you can clearly see I am struggling to put the story in a single line which states that the story is indeed layered. There is one massive twist towards the end that made my jaw drop as I did not see it coming. But the screenplay is slightly patchy and at times forced here that somehow didn’t come together in a timid end, making this my least favourite of the lot. But there is much to like here including the setting and premise with a good BGM. Director Shashank Khaitaan has done a decent job though he doesn’t quite nail this subject. Fatima Sana Shaikh as Lipakshi looks gorgeous and has done a good job. Armaan Ralhan as Raj is pretty decent. Jaideep Ahlawat as Babloo has many shades to him and he does a terrific job. Overall a decent watch!
Majnu Rating: 3/5
Khilauna : The story of a house maid who wishes to bring electricity to her house that forces her to change jobs. This story seemed simple from its onset that ended in probably the darkest climax that I have ever witnessed. You are conflicted about the character of the maid and her lover in a screenplay that takes turns between being a drama and a whoddunit thriller but the massive twist right at the end might potentially give you nightmares. And if you ask me personally, I love it when cinema as a platform is used to explore the dark side of human nature. And this screenplay is written in such a way that it fulfills this and more in an ending that will stay with you long after the movie has ended. Director Raj Mehta has done a terrific job here. Little Inayat(whom you saw in Ludo) is so natural as Binny. Maneesh Verma as Vinod is decent. Abhishek Banerjee as Sushil is yet again in top form. Nushrratt Bharuccha as Meenal is pretty good. Overall, a shocking short!
Khilauna Rating: 4/5
Geeli Pucchi: The story of a sole woman working in a factory until a new woman employee joins as her senior. But there is more than what meets the eye. The story is so complex and has many nuances. This required a skillful screenplay and a skilled director to pull it off well. And the good news is that it was! The screenplay has so many tender moments between the two leads while tackling potential taboos in our society. The hidden motives are also skillfully presented keeping the conflict intact. One of the best scenes that I found was the scene in which one of the protagonist is asked to serve cake while the others are enjoying. Brilliant screenplay and brilliant writing. Director Neeraj Ghaywan has done a fantastic job here keeping the sequences nuanced. Aditi Rao Hydari as Priya looks so pretty and has done a brilliant job. Konkona Sen Sharma is a fine actress and here as Bharti she delivers a memorable performance. Both actors feed off each other so well! An outstanding short!
Geeli Pucchi Rating: 4.5/5
Ankahi : The second standout story and tied at first place is this one. A story of a housewife who is on the verge of a failed relationship gets acquainted with a deaf and dumb man. The story again is beautifully poignant and complex thst leaves you conflicted at the end. The screenplay is so gentle you instantly start connecting with the characters. And by the end of it you feel sorry for one of them almost so that it breaks your heart. Director Kayoze Irani has done a fantastic job keeping things in a perfect balance throughout. Tota Roy Chowdhary is highly underrated as an actor and he is excellent as Rohan. Sara Arjun as Samaira is pretty good. Shefali Shah as Natasha is just so brilliant, she nails each expression of hers in a complex role that requires her to shift sides. But the performance of the film(including all 4 shorts) is undoubtedly Manav Kaul as Kabir. Firstly, he looks so handsome and secondly he is so effortless as a person who is deaf and dumb. So well acted, it was indeed an acting masterclass! This is a short you do not want to miss!
Ankahi Rating: 4.5/5
Ajeeb Daastaans successfully matches the brilliance of other films in the anthology genre. It tackles the complexities of relationships and their conflicts extremely well, this is a film you do not want to skip. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended.