Ajeeb Daastaans Review:
Consisting of four short tales, Ajeeb Daastaans is true to its title. No one story is even closely similar to the other one and every time one story ends, it feels like a fresh jump to a new world. But as they say, everyone has their perspective to see things and that's what the directors have tried to narrate and tried weaving their stories in such a way that it leaves you with something to think about.
The first one called 'Majnu' starring Fatima Sana Shaikh
and Jaideep Ahlawat, is the story of a couple named Lipakshi and Babloo who are trapped in a loveless marriage by their powerful families. Lipakshi and Babloo are not like the usual couples who would give in after so many years of their marriage and try living as per their parental expectations. But in fact, Lipakshi has her way of keeping herself entertained in the huge mansion, by actually wooing guys and later leaving them to her husband Babloo's attention who gets them beaten up. Their not-so-fairy-tale comes to a halt after the entry of Armaan Ralhan as Raj who instantly lifts their boring life. Director Shashank Khaitan has done a fair job in narrating the story but to some extent, it becomes quite self-explanatory and it'll not be very difficult for you to guess how the rest of the story unfolds.
The second one called 'Khilauna' is directed by Raj Mehta and it casts Nushrratt Baruccha
, Abhishek Bannerjee, and Inayat Verma. The quest to tackle societal evils continues in this one as well since the director Raj Mehta introduces us to the class divide we create between us and our househelps that can sometimes go wrong beyond any rectifications. Meenal, a house help played by Nushrratt, wants to make things better for herself and her sister played by Inaayat. Her ambition to beat the rich traps her in a house where the man doesn't have much good intentions for her. Even though Khilauna starts off well and intrigues us with every following scene, the ending seems more like a horror show than giving validation to the story. Abhishek Bannerjee is as usual spot-on with his role as an ironing man of the locality who's involved with Meenal and her sister in ways we didn't really understand why.
The third one and my favourite out of them all, 'Geeli Puchi', is directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, and it sees Konkana Sen and Aditi Rao Hydari
playing the lead. This story feels like a complete package to me for how swiftly it manages to bring topics like sexuality, gender biases, and caste system without making it too heavy for the audience to watch. Konkana Sen as Bharti is shown struggling to make her place in the factory she works at. Her gender, and more so her caste (Dalit), constantly makes her strive to achieve what she wants. But after she meets Priya (Aditi Rao), a coworker belonging to an upper caste, things start looking bright for her but that's only when she's encountered with some difficult choices to make. The caste divide is so seemingly blended in this story that it makes us realise how unintentional it may be, but we do end up resorting to various forms of biases in our lives.
The fourth and the final one, 'Ankahi', directed by Kayoze Irani and starring Shefali Shah and Manav Koul, is more of an emotional ride. The story of a mother-daughter relationship between Natasha (Shefali) and her teenage girl who can't hear, makes the crux for the complicated relationships and how the quest to find comfort, makes some unexpected bonds. The performance given by Shefali and Manav is something to look out for. They are so smooth in every scene that you feel every bit of their emotions powerfully.
To sum it all up, Ajeeb Daastaans is a mix of some interesting and some boring tales clubbed together. Nonetheless, the interesting ones are something to watch this anthology for. Every actor in this film has given their best. The songs gave a fresh feel to the film and they were aptly placed in between the story-telling.
Ajeeb Daastaans Verdict:
Overall, this movie is not for someone who's looking for happy endings but if you're someone who likes distorted life tales, you must go for it.