Movie Review : Ajeeb Daastaans
After Lust Stories and ghost stories, Ajeeb Daastaans is the next release in the anthology of four short films. The movie deals with many social issues prevalent in Indian society. The movie tells four Daastaans, namely, Majnu (Shashank Khaitan), Khilauna (Raj Mehta), Geeli Pucchi (Neeraj Ghaywan), and Ankahi (Kayoze Irani). Two of the films stand out and literally keep you hooked to the screen, but the other two fall flat, ending on a patchy note.
Majnu Directed By Shashank Khaitan
The story revolves around the forced and unhappy marriage of Babloo (Jaideep Ahlawat) and Lipakshi (Fatima Sana Sheikh). On the first night, Babloo tells Lipkashi that he is in love with someone else and will never be able to love her, and Lipakshi is left with her unsatisfied sexual needs, and finding love outside her marriage. The talented cast is given very little to work with, and you will be left confused about what is happening. The characters are not appropriately layered, and even if a social issue is highlighted in the tale, it is unable to hit you at the right spot. However, the brilliant acting of Ahlawat stands out. Majnu has a tiring storyline, and the motive remains unclear.
Khilauna Directed By Raj Mehta
Khilauna is perhaps the most awkward tale out of these four short stories. The plot revolves around a street smart house help Meenal (Nushrat Bharucha) and her sister Binny (Inayat Verma) trying to survive in a system that is cruel to people like Meenal. The story had a lot of potential, but unnecessary attention has been paid to sexualising’s Meenal’s character instead of humanising her. Director Raj Mehta gives quite the time to show us the misery of the main characters and as the story progresses, the characters are laid on the table, but as you begin investing yourself in the story, it just shuts the door at your face keeping you confused about what happened, almost leaving the tale incomplete.
Geeli Pucchi Directed By Neeraj Ghaywan
Geeli Pucchi starring Konkana Sen Sharma and Aditi Rao Hydari is a tale of caste and love and perfectly defines the phrase “Keep your friends close and your frenemies closer.” The story revolves around a Dalit woman Bharti (Konkana Sen Sharma), working in a factory where she is the only “woman” operating in machines. Bharti has her eyes on the job of a data operator, but a new joining, Priya Sharma (Aditi Rao Hydari), takes Bharti’s dream job. In the beginning, you might think you know where the story is heading to, but just as you think you know it, it will surprise you! Neeraj Ghaywan’s Geeli Pucchi is a treat to watch, and you won’t be able to decide who is the victim and who is the culprit. The twist in the tale will creep on you and punch you with an iconic last scene.
Ankahi Directed By Kayoze Irani
The story revolves around a woman, Natasha (Shefali Shah), who, while trying to cope up with her daughter’s growing disability, seeks solace in the company of Kabir (Manav Kaul), a deaf-mute photographer. The story is simple but has its own charm. Ankahi very conveniently makes you realize that sometimes non-verbal communication is better than a verbal one. Natasha and Kabir convey complex and deep emotions’ without even saying a word. Though the story will constantly keep a smile on your face, the ending is quite harsh!
Ajeeb Daastaans is streaming on Netflix.