Ankahi Kahaniya( 2021/ Anthology/ Netflix)
Three stories by three acclaimed directors bound by a common theme of loneliness and love.
Have seen a lot reviews about this anthology and quite mixed ones, which consequently toned down my expectations. But the stories had me completely roped in and I think it was a good decision to go for it.
The first one by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari revolves around Pradeep(Abhishek Banerjee),whose dull and lonely life in Mumbai as a store help leads him to developing an infatuation with a mannequin.
The most impressive thing about this story, which might seem a little far-fetched in parts, is Abhishek’s performance.
He lends his character this mix of adorable quality, innocence and desperation that tugs at the heart. Even when you feel the story tilting towards implausibility, he keeps you invested. I am highly impressed by the range of this actor considering the variety of his portrayals so far and I think we are yet to see his entire potential.
The second one “Madhyantar” by Abhishek Chaubey revolves around two youngsters living a lonely and drab life in retro era of Mumbai.
Manjari( Rinku Rajguru) lives in a lower middle class household and suffers from bias, disdain and indifference. Watching cinema seems to be the only silver lining in her grey life.
Nandu( Delzad Hiwale) works for a cinema and takes care of an old & foul drunkard who seems to have adopted him in childhood.
The setting of the story and both the lead actors lend a heart tugging charm to the story.
But what Is actually most impressive is the makers vision and they way the story conveys the subtextual. Such less of spoken words, so much conveyed and so much to be deciphered. I loved the way they drew the characters and their relationship.
The third story by Saket Chaudhary revolves around two couples. A wife discovers that her husband is cheating on her and then she meets the other woman’s husband to try and salvage her marriage.
Zoya Hussain and Kunal Kapoor play the wronged spouses and Nikhil Dwivedi and Palomi Ghosh play the cheating spouses.
The story was least impressive of the three. It involves a plot that goes a little haywire in my opinion. That whole idea of discussing and living though the cheating moments of their spouses seemed a little outlandish and off. But what still kept me hooked were the actors. I love Zoya Hussain since her debut in Mukkabaaz and Kunal is always a pleasure to watch. Nikhil and Palomi were good too. Together these four made the heavily dialogue laden story somehow work.
Over all ,the anthology turned out to be a good watch for me.