Ray Review: A Mix Bag of Short Thrillers that’s Engaging and Worth a Watch!

Ray (2021) 

Based on stories by Satyajit Ray, it’s an anthology of 4 short thrillers conveying stark human emotions like ego, selfishness, vanity and the likes. 

Forget Me not – By Srijit Mukherji (Ali Fazal, Shweta Basu Prasad, Anindita Bose)

Ipsit (Ali) is a rich dynamic entrepreneur, who is at wits end when his famous human computer like sharpness begins to dwindle.

This was my most favourite of the four stories. Apart from the fantastic performances by Ali Fazal, I loved the intrigue, suspense and the twist. I loved how the cinematography and the director’s vision captured the city and the life style. It boasted of luxury, money and class, yet had a depressing darkness to it. Liked Anindita Bose.    

Bahrupiya – By Srijit Mukherji (KayKay Menon, Bidita Bag, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Rajesh Sharma )

Indrashish (KayKay) is a lonely man dealing with poverty, reprimand, rejection. His life suddenly takes a turn when his dying grandmother leaves something precious for him in her will. 

This dark story story captures Calcutta in all its grimness. Indrashish’s dilapidated life, his contorted freaky plans in new found circumstances give an uncomfortable vibe. The psychological part brought in by Peer Baba (Dibyendu) added good twist. I liked KayKay’s  performance though not really out of the box. The dismal story leaves you unsettled. 

Both the stories convey dark side to human emotions and how they could sometimes engulf us without even realising it. Have seen Begum Jaan by the director and I see the same grim tinge in both his stories.

Hangama Kyon Hai Barpa -By Abhishek Chaubey (Manoj Bajpayee, Gajraj Rao, Manoj Pahwa, Raghubir Yadav)

Two strangers Musafir Ali (Manoj) and Baig (Rao) meet in train. But there’s a past that relates them.

The best thing about this story is obviously its cast. Loved Gajraj Rao and Manoj Bajpayee, the humour, the slight suspense and the twist. The story maintains a light satirical tone, has a different theatre style story telling. But I must confess I wanted to be a little more impressed than I was. Perhaps my expectation from the director was higher considering his fantastic filmography like Sonchiriya, Ishqiya, Udta Punjab.

Spotlight – By Vasan Bala (Harshvardhan Kapoor, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Radhika Madan)

 Vik (Harsh) is a young star actor, clearly not at peace. His vanity, hunger for fame, success and artistic satisfaction seem to be at loggerheads. Things get complicated when he encounters a cult religious enigmatic and charismatic figure, everything about whom he despises. 

The story is the quirkiest most and reflects the director’s unique sense of storytelling. Remember the unique but less appreciated ”Mard Ko dard Nahin Hota“? 

But personally, it was my least favourite. Found it a bit stretched. But I am sure this genre has some ardent fans who would love it.

Always love Chandan Roy Sanyal. He looks fab. Also, liked Harshvardhan Kapoor. There’s something very genuine about this actor and his efforts even though he has failed to make a mark so far. 

The different stories, like all anthologies, are bound to draw varied reactions from the audience. Adapting a Maestro’s work is not an easy task, specially when the director’s add their own touch and vision. 

Even though the series is not superb overall, I found it interesting, engaging and worth my time for the fantastic cast and the varied mix of short thrillers ranging from good to not so good.

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