Yet another day and yet another women-centric anthology on Netflix displaying forms of sexual expression in our society from the view of a woman. I love these concepts but sadly, execution disappoints me. Personally I feel these cinematic concepts are still new to the Indian audience and therefore they are cheered upon.
That’s not wrong. After all, it’s better than what we are served otherwise in petty Bollywood blockbusters and this transition helps prepare the audience and the creators for something bigger. Until Divine, Naezy etc blew no one really explored the underground rap culture. But now rap is the new thing everywhere.
Netflix Ajeeb Daastaans is an anthology of four stories by Karan Johar’s digital production team. Here, we will talk about all four so without further ado let’s begin Netflix Ajeeb Daastaans Review
The anthology starts off with the story that impresses me the least. The whole movie has a resemblance with Netflix not so old anthology Lust Stories. And this one picked up its theme from Karan Johar’s story casting Kiara Advani & Vicky Kaushal.
The story is also a lot like Saheb, Biwi and Gulab except with a twist. Babloo, a criminal kingpin, falls to accept and satisfy Lipakshi right after marriage which was nothing but a political arrangement.
Desperate Lipakshi tries finding love elsewhere which often leads to a sad end as soon as Babloo comes to know about it. Enters into the story, the driver’s son Raj who had to leave his hefty paying job offer from abroad after Babloo orders to join him instead as his financial manager.
What unholds is you to see. Jaideep Ahlawat as Babloo like always delivers a stunning performance but the other characters failed to impress me as much. I almost forgot and never thought about it minutes after we proceeded into the next story.
Khilauna is about class divide, patriarchy, and social injustice. Meenal, the maid is reflected as the cunning maid who manipulates her employers for personal benefits. And somehow, it’s justified as that’s how people like her make ends meet.
The story is picked up from Zoya Akhtar’s short story casting Bhumi Pednekar & Neil Bhoopalam. But unlike this one, here I found Meenal aka Nushrat Bharucha a little more loud being a maid. She was like a model which obviously questions the creator’s mentality to sugar coat everything.
Though everyone was mind-bogglingly fantastic. Nusrat proved she can be way more than what she is offered otherwise. Whereas we cannot ever question Abhishek Banerjee’s caliber as an actor. Young girl Inayat Verma was the last nail in the coffin to make it the perfect casting among all four stories.
Meenal’s utter courage to bend emotions to make her life as comfortable as possible may seem disturbing at times. Binny’s little yet mature understanding will make you question society. Sushil’s integrity towards life and his beloved is sweetly bitter.
Geeli Pucchi is no doubt my favorite from the lot. From here the movie takes up the pace we expect it to be. It reflects lotta things like women empowerment, LGBTQ+, and its social issues, caste divide, social hierarchy etc
Konkona Sen is no doubt one of the best actors right now in the industry who we see quite less than we should. I expected more from Aditi Rao Hydari though. I like the subtle expression. In cinema not everything needs to be served on a plate, something can be just gestured.
Bharti Mandal aka Konkona Sen is a dalit woman who happens to be the only woman laborer in the factory. Priya aka Aditi Rao Hydari enters as the new employee in the office space upstairs for which Bharti too applied but despite all the skills was rejected.
Unlike Khilauna’s Meenal, Bharti had no makeup and polished skin to showcase anything otherwise. We see how she is exploited and questioned upon her womanhood by fellow workers, how the social hierarchy considers downstairs filthy and stinking, how Bharti suppressed her feelings every time around Priya who was less skilled, given more attention and appreciated for her caste and appearance.
We see her hide and lie about her surname fearing like all Priya may not accept her for being a dalit. We see both women feeling alienated in a world full of people for their sexual preferences. More than anything I see this as a story of social drama and revenge. A story is written out of hate and exploitation. Not negativity speaking though.
Directed by Kayoze Irani, Ankahi is yet another beautiful story resembling Dibakar Banerjee’s piece from Lust Stories. Shefali Shah as Natasha’s nails it. I love that she lets her eyes more than herself, Manav Kaul, what to say about him. FANTASTIC!
This one is like a little poem and each emotion expressed is a metaphorical line. Natasha, a homemaker is disappointed by her husband’s disinterest to understand her daughter. He refused to learn sign language and cater to his’s daughter’s tantrums for which he blames lack of leisure time.
He expresses anger over Natasha’s continuous nagging and states how busy and tired he has to be just to provide for his wife and daughter. Having a void in herself, Natasha stumbles upon Kabir, a photographer who too is deaf.
Charmed by the sudden pouring of attention and love Natasha soon falls for him. Rest is for you to explore. I don’t know why but I got those Nicholas Spark vibes. The movie is no doubt beautiful. The screenplay and storytelling steal the show.
Somedays I argue with myself whether this was better than Geeli Pucchi in Ajeeb Daastaans Review
Ajeeb Daastaans Review: Last Words
This was all from Ajeeb Daastaans Review. The movie is worth the time for most audiences. A little serious audience may skip the first two stories and jump to Geeli Pucchi and Ankahi.
Though I do feel Netflix is getting bit monotonous over time and fails to seize the practical Indian lives. Or maybe provide something unique like Love Per Square Feet. Amazon Prime Video does a better job in that sense and impresses me every time. But then they do release too little and newer seasons take years to stretch.
The Tandav controversy has brought old and new projects at a halt currently and indefinitely postponed the second season of The Family Man. A production house as big as it must not be so short-sighted and petty.