From mannequins, males, infidelity and metropolis fears-Leisure Information, Firstpost

Of course, in most anthologies there will be one film that dwarfs the rest, but that is not the case with Ankahi Kahaniya – each of these three short films is equally moderately personable and equally uninspiring.

Language: Hindi

There is a joke that is waiting to be made by every (re) viewer who does not like this film: “Ankahi Kahaniya translated into Untold Stories and maybe they should have stayed that way – ankahi and ansuni (untold and unheard). ”You will not read this line from me, however. See for yourself whether it fits.

Ankahi Kahaniya is a compilation of three films with a running time between 30 and 40 minutes, which are connected by a thread of urban fear. The first direction by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (Nile Battey Sannata, Panga) is the story of a youth from rural Madhya Pradesh who works as a salesman in a clothing store in Mumbai, where he develops a relationship with a beautiful mannequin. The next, led by Abhishek Chaubey (Dedh Ishqiya, Sonchiriya), is about an attraction that develops between an impoverished employee of a cinema and a normal viewer. Saket Chaudhary (Side effects of Pyaar Ke, Hindi medium) holds the reins of the final chapter about two people who find that their respective spouses are having an affair with each other.

Abhishek Banerjee stars in Iyer Tiwari’s short film as Pradeep Lahoria, a man who has settled so lonely in the metropolis that he chats with the lifeless figure on which women’s clothes are draped to lure customers into his shop. He even gives her a name and confides in her the contrast between the people of Mumbai and his village.

Iyer Tiwari has a penchant for runaways in busy cities, which was evident in her beautiful debut film Nile Battey Sannata in which Swara Bhasker played a domestic servant in Agra who wants to give her daughter an education and dream big. The director shows the same interest in this short film by Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain and Nitesh Tiwari (three of the four co-authors of Dangalwhich he directed). Her characteristic, restrained storytelling and casting are on point, but the concept is anything but unique.

Abhishek Banerjee in Ankahi Kahaniya

People in relationships with mannequins, robots, and even a computer program have been made by cinema repeatedly around the world, including in India. Read: mannequin, Lars and the real girl with Ryan Gosling, Heartbreaking Spike Jonzes she, Shankars Enthiran and more. Much of the appeal of the new film comes from Banerjee, who is without question one of the most versatile emerging character artists in Hindi cinema. If the same actor can play the weird coward he was in Street, the terrible prisoner in Paatal locomotive and the pathetic Pradeep, without reducing him to a cartoonish weirdo, you have to know that he is something special. His presence and an air of urgency carry that part of Ankahi Kahaniya, but the needlessly explanatory final monologue assigned to Pradeep is a downer, which comes across as an attempt to feed the audience instead of leaving us to arbitrate its relationships interpret.

It’s only natural that in most anthologies there will be one movie that dwarfs the rest, but that’s not the case with Ankahi Kahaniya – Each of these three shorts is equally moderately likeable and equally uninspiring.

Abhishek Chaubey had the distinction of being the outstanding segment in beam, this other Netflix anthology released earlier this year based on the stories of Satyajit Ray. Chaubeys Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa with Manoj Bajpayee and Gajraj Rao for beam was shiny, fun, and whimsical, in an exciting, unexpected departure from the intrepid realism associated with it. Its direction of the middle part of Ankahi Kahaniya is closer to its signature style, but with mixed results.

Chaubey’s film is conceived as an ode to optimism that also thrives in misery. The two main actors – Manjari, played by Rinku Rajguru and Nandu (Delzad Hiwale) – survive under circumstances that seem hopeless. On the one hand, she lives in a shabby building with a mother who pimps her to a certain extent, and a brother who does not believe in being violent with her, while the former looks on wordlessly. Nevertheless, she manages to force joy out of her joyless situation. The spark between Manjari and Nandu gives him the impetus to shake off the indolence that has permeated his life up to then.

Ankahi Kahaniya Movie Review Of Mannequins Men Infidelity and Urban Fear

Rinku Rajguru in Ankahi Kahaniya

This short film is based on the Kannada story according to the credits Madhyantara by Jayant Kaikini and written for the Hindi screen by Hussain Haidry and Chaubey themselves. I couldn’t find an English translation of the source material, but was drawn to the lotus-im-muck theme of the film and the innocence of the protagonists.

Rajguru stormed the national scene with a dream debut in the Marathi blockbuster Sairat (2016). Her films since then, including a couple in Hindi (Not paused, 200 hall), presented their range together. Her swing as Manjari here is a nice addition to Hiwale’s subdued, carefree rhea.

However, I found that his slightly changed body language towards her in some scenes did not match his behavior before and after and was therefore confusing. And while her mind holds that short ending amid desperation, the ending is unnecessarily skewed, making it the exact opposite of Iyer Tiwari’s over-explained final scene.

From poorer neighborhoods, Ankahi Kahaniya moves to more affluent, posh rooms in the finale, directed by Saket Chaudhary. Here, Zoya Hussain (the one in Anurag Kashyaps Mukkabaaz – why don’t we see her more often on the screen?) Plays a woman who suspects her husband (Nikhil Dwivedi) of infidelity and seeks the husband of the woman with whom he is cheating on her. This spouse is played by Kunal Kapoor, who is listed here in the credits as Kunaal with a double “a”.

Ankahi Kahaniya Movie Review Of Mannequins Men Infidelity and Urban Fear

Kunal Kapoor and Zoya Hussain in Ankahi Kahaniya

An unlikely friendship develops between the two, and the speculation they have about the deceitful duo makes clear their existing doubts – or lack thereof – about their spouses and themselves.

The spelling of this short film is a bit thin and the script by Zeenat Lakhani and Chaudhary is particularly faltering with its surface treatment of Dwivedi’s character. Just sketching an outline of this unfaithful man while adding flesh and blood and weight to the “other woman” even though everyone has more or less the same screen time is too easy a way to justify the final decisions of those in charge of their marriages and lives among themselves.

Chaudhary and Lakhani made the same mistake, albeit with a gender reassignment, in Side effects of Shaadi Ke (2014), which they wrote together and directed the former. In this film, the heroine (Vidya Balan) was pretty much forgotten in the second half. It’s never okay to take on either of two people in a story that is supposed to offer them equal representation.

Despite its shortcomings, Chaudhary is short in Ankahi Kahaniya stays airy because Hussain and Kapoor play well.

I paused for a moment after watching this movie and wondered if my gentle, tolerant response was a Navarasa Ka side effect. See, I’m recovering from Mani Ratnam’s Tamil Netflix anthology of nine films that range from misogynist, patriarchal, and casteistic to presumptuous, pointless, and boring. Anything feels worthwhile in comparison. “Better than Navarasa“Is not a compliment, so I’ll add the following: Ankahi Kahaniya is hardly the most engaging cinema I’ve seen this year, but it has enough engaging material and acting talent to make it through.

Ankahi Kahaniya is streaming on Netflix India.

Valuation: **

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