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Ankahi Kahaniya review: Stories in this Netflix series were better left unsaid

Ankahi Kahaniya creator: Saket Chaudhary, Abhishek Chaubey and Ashwini Iyer Tiwari
Ankahi Kahaniya cast: Abhishek Banerjee, Zoya Hussain, Kunal Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi, Palomi, Rinku Rajguru and Delzad Hiwale
Ankahi Kahaniya score: 2 stars

Enough movie reels, newsprint and now digital recollections have been devoted to documenting the looming ‘loneliness’ of the metro cities. Mumbai has at all times served as the massive, dangerous wolf. ‘Mumbai main naukri mil jaati hai, par apni dil ki baat karne ke liye do saathi nahin milte’, as our protagonist Pradeep (Abhishek Banerjee) says in the primary providing of the three-part anthology Ankahi Kahaniya, that streams from immediately on Netflix. It supposedly dwells on the overwhelming urge for love. Love. We hold coming again to this elusive feeling, which in trendy instances has reached legendary proportions, and stays slippery for extra folks than ever. Blame it on know-how, or the rat race, or in current instances, the pandemic. But by no means earlier than in human historical past has love been so out of attain for the typical human.

The first half, directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, offers with the story of a humble, shy Pradeep. He has come from a village in MP, and is caught in the each day monotony of incomes a wage as a salesman in a ready-made garment retailer in Mumbai. While everybody round him is busy occurring dates — proper from his youthful, slick co-worker who takes his woman to Juhu seashore, to his roommate in his basti who’s glued to his telephone as he romances his woman love. Cupid lastly takes pity and Pradeep falls laborious for a feminine model, who is dropped at the shop to show girls’s clothes.

He names her Pari, takes her to the seashore, buys her presents, all with an enormous grin on his face. All hell breaks unfastened when the shop proprietor sees video footage of him romancing the model. Pradeep faces a number of flak for his ‘depravity’. But why is it seen as ethical corruption? Japan has a complete subculture round love dolls, which supply all kinds of companionship to the more and more solitary Japanese inhabitants. And for somebody like Pradeep, who represents many such children from the Indian hinterland, who’re unable to take care of the slick calls for of a bustling metropolis, love dolls, can maybe be a helpful stepping stone, enabling them with a confidence that may assist them in actual life conditions.

But, possibly we’re being futuristic. Abhishek Banerjee channels Pradeep a bit too nicely, it’s him in ‘Hathoda Tyagi’ mode, minus the anger and the violent hammer. Why can’t administrators’ channel good actors in new methods, as a substitute of typecasting them? We are frightened Banerjee may simply head the Pankaj Tripathi means, the place all they ask him to play is this younger, uncouth village particular person, simply as Tripathi has been typecast as a ‘Hindi hinterland character’ along with his signature ‘neck move’.

The second half too relies in Mumbai. Love ensues when the errand boy at dilapidated single-screen theatre meets a younger woman trapped in an offended family. Rinky Rajguru’s Manjari is decreased to doing chores at residence and her solely escape is watching Marathi flicks on the native theatre. Glances are exchanged, dates are made, ice cream is eaten and walks taken on the seashore. But nothing is claimed, explicitly. The two need to sort out their very own harsh realities, as they try to make a break from their present lives. The second half has too many similarities with Sairat, which made Rajguru a family title. Her costume, her physique language are all borrowed from the second half of Sairat. One anticipated better from director Abhishek Chaubey, however his narrative is the one one which sticks to the ‘unsaid’ a part of the transient.

Rinku Rajguru in a nonetheless from Ankahi Kahaniya. (Photo: Netflix)

The third a part of Ankahi Kahaniyan, takes us to swanky, plush Mumbai the place conferences happen on the cosy Taj Mahal Tea House, and offsites take you to seashore resorts. We meet Tanu and Manav, who’ve come collectively as a result of their respective spouses are having an affair with one another. In a whole invocation of cult traditional In the Mood for Love, two cuckolded spouses attempt to retrace the affair of their companions. Been there, performed to loss of life. Saket Chaudhary tries to provide a distinct spin to the narrative, but it surely’s an excessive amount of on the nostril and admittedly the writing drags.

The anthology was imagined to take us into the not-so-glamorous world of heartbreak, and a life past rose tinted glasses. Ankahi Kahaniyan evokes no emotion, none in any respect. The dialogue writing is underlined, the message is usually delivered in a preachy, apparent means. The anthology wouldn’t have regarded misplaced in the 2000s, but it surely received’t work in 2021.

ankahi kahaniya poster A poster of Ankahi Kahaniya.

Also, Netflix appears to be obsessive about the anthology format. We have had a tonne of them currently, with Ray, Navrasa, Ajeeb Dastaans and a bunch of others. We surprise why? The entire thought of streaming providers was to get extremely detailed narratives, which might give everybody an immersive storytelling expertise. We perceive ‘content’ can work in all sizes and shapes, however not one of the anthologies have actually labored, have they? Yet they appear to have a unending provide of those. Anyway, be at liberty to skip this weak, slapdash effort from the makers. The tales in Ankahi Kahaniyan, would have been better left unsaid.

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