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Thursday, May 6, 2021
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Ajeeb Daastaans Movie Review: Netflix Romance Drama By Neeraj Ghaywan

Read the detailed movie review for 'Ajeeb Daastaans' - a well-made anthology of 4 stark stories with surprise endings.

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Review Overview

Geeli Pucchi (Wet Kisses)
Majnu (Lover)
Ankahi (Unsaid)
Khilauna (Toy)

Summary

A Well-made Anthology of 4 Stark Stories With Surprise Endings.

Geeli Pucchi  (Wet Kisses)

Clever, clever, clever is the only way to describe Dalit blue collar worker Bharati Mandal (Konkona Sen), not even considered a female in that all-male factory. And bypassed easily for a data operator’s job up in the cabin that goes to dainty Brahmin girl Priya Sharma (Aditi Rao Hydari).

A fleeting touch of lesbianism and the usual daubs of caste putdowns are deliciously misleading as director Neera Ghaywan is actually going elsewhere. To say how this strange friendship between the two women finally climaxes would be a travesty of justice to the surprise that Neeraj reserves for the last. It’s the way he weaves it that makes this wonderful performance by Konkona Sen stand out as the best out of the four. Although, I must say that Geeli Pucchi was my least favourite title out of the four.  

Majnu (Lover)

It’s there in the trailer. The privileged haveli owner, tells his bride on their wedding night, “I love someone else. So I won’t be touching you.” But she’s feisty too.

It’s raw. Husband Bablu (Jaideep Ahlawat) is feared by all, and rightly so for he can roast a man’s dick in oil using terms with terms like “standing ovation” bandied around, or break an old driver’s leg without a qualm.

Lipakshi (Fatima Sana Shaikh) is frustrated. She taunts, she teases but she can’t tear herself away from the situation where she has to maintain the ‘maryada’ of the family.  

When the family driver’s son Raj (Armaan Ralhan) swaggers in, all set for a job in London, you know it’s going to get edgy. And it’s not just about a round of smooching and heaving with yearning Lipakshi.

Through three good performances from the ever-reliable Jaideep, likeable Fatima and suave Armaan, director Shashank Khaitaan sweetens this revenge story. Do watch it.

Ankahi (Unsaid)

Director Kayoze Irani keeps her visuals clean and artistic and walks us into a world of sign language as she presents Natasha (Shefali Shah, perfect). The mother of a hearing-impaired teenage daughter.

A chance encounter with an artist (Manav Kaul, endearing) who gave up his hearing aid for the world of deafening silence, leads to conversations in sign language and chemistry, palpable.       

Kayoze’s direction keeps you guessing where this one’s heading.

What I can say is, it’s a change that the woman is not a perfectly chiselled svelte figure but a slightly dumpy, over-40 woman in a midi. And still ‘hot’.  

I also like it when a woman can get up from bed and go home to her family. Haven’t men done it with impunity for centuries?

Khilauna (Toy)

It’s my least favourite of the four. Because maids who’s crafty and ‘lechy’ rich men who want to paw them are not new territory. So when Nushrratt Bharruccha (as she spells it) seductively sways her way around the rich houses where she sweeps and swabs, teaches craftiness to her kid sister (the ever-charming Inayat Verma, last seen with Abhishek Bachchan in Ludo) and has her rounds of passions and panting with istriwala Abhishek Banerjee, it’s a world we’ve been to before. But director Raj Mehta has something starkly unpleasant up his sleeve when a chance word uttered by the older sister leads an utterly avoidable tragedy. The thought is stomach churning.

Ajeeb Daastaans – Official Trailer (Source: Netflix India YT)

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