'Ankahi Kahaniya' Review: Watch it at your own risk

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

Rimli Bhattacharya

“Do people always fall in love with things they can't have?'

'Always,' Carol said, smiling, too.”

― Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

Why am I suddenly discussing forbidden love? And how can love be forbidden? Don’t we love one person at one time, then why? But love still blooms, I mean forbidden love and that’s what directors Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Abhishek Chaubey and Saket Chaudhary have in store for us through the anthology Ankahi Kahaniya streaming on the OTT platform Netflix. The movie has received two stars rated by Indian Express and that had urged me to watch this filmi shilmi pyar vyar and write this review for the anthology of 110 minutes. Released on 17 September 2021 the movie didn’t get much recognition sans me who is addicted to movies be it a forbidden love or a genuine heartache. The movie has three stories by one by each of the above directors.

Story – 1

Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

‘With open arms by the sun kissed shore
Can’t you feel her love embrace
The warm breeze, the morning tide
The frothy splash across your face

She gives you wings so you can fly
Fly across the rising sun
Her magic spell makes u feel
Life for you has just begun

She makes you smile right through your tears
Holds your hand in the rain

Mumbai She's your guiding star
She shines the light on you
She makes you who you are……’

The above song was sung by a rock group Zedde, based out of Mumbai. The lead singer being my classmate. A failure himself my classmate still believes love is in the air and being a bachelor he justifies his stand each time he sends me a message. Like me he too stays in Mumbai after moving from a teeny tiny city from the North East, Agartala. And then suddenly his rock band doesn’t exist anymore.

F**k! I don’t agree with my classmate. Mumbai has a bad name for being an extremely selfish city. The loneliness makes you vulnerable, you don’t have a friend with whom you can share your stories of joy and sorrow. And this is what exactly Pradeep (played by Abhishek Banerjee) our protagonist of story 1 feels. Pradeep who resided in a bourg had come down in Mumbai in search of work. He works for a garment showroom and handles the ladies section while his colleague the men section. Pradip a plebian and shy man is quite a loner. He pines for love when he sees his colleague going with his girlfriend to Juhu beach. Back at his shanty his roommate is glued to his phone speaking to his lady love. Finally Kam Deva interferes and Pradip gets his love from a mannequin which the store owner gets for the ladies section. And then starts the abnormal love story between a doll and a man. How could the director even try a plot like this? Long story short. The sly colleague expose Pradip by showing the CCTV footage to the store owner. Pradip is fired.

The dejected Pradip travels back to his native. Eats good food from his mother’s hand. Gets a girl to marry who even forgives Pradip’s love story with a brush of her hand. Everything is now merry merry.

A tiresome, drab watch it’s an absurd movie much to the fantasies of the perverts.

Story – 2

Director: Abhishek Chaubey

This too is based upon Mumbai. The protagonists are Manjiri (played by Rinku Rajguru) and a tired Nandu (played by Delzad Hiwale). Manjiri comes from a chawl and also from an angry household. At home she endures her mother’s cuss words, sexual harassment from a dirty neighbor in front of her mother. Her only escape routine is the one screen theatre where she watches Marathi movies. Nandu run errands like selling movie tickets, selling samosa during the movie interval, cleaning the toilets, taking care of a drunkard chacha. Glances between Manjiri and Nandu are exchanged, dates are made which includes enjoying an ice cream while walking by the seashore. But there is nothing concrete between the two. Nandu’s role is confusing while Manjiri maintains her Sairat style speaking in Marathi. In the end it is seen Manjiri getting inside a ST bus eating nankhatai (a type of bakery biscuit) and Nandu losing his lousy job in process of reaching out to Manjari and helping her. But trust me this is the only watchable movie amongst the three. Having said this I would also say Chaubeyji you could have further fine grinded this movie without leaving it coarse.

Story – 3

Director: Saket Chaudhary

This plush movie which will expose you to classy beach resorts, Taj Mahal Tea House, sea shores where Manav (played by Kunal Kapoor) meets Tanu Mathur (played by Zoya Hussain) as they suspect their respective spouses Arjun Mathur (played by Nikhil Dwivedi) husband of Tanu is having an affair with his colleague Natasha (played by Palomi Ghosh) who is the legit wife of Manav. The crisscross pairs, I mean Manav and Tanu start acting and romancing based on the ongoing affair which we doubt even exists. Beg your pardon Mr Chaudhary there is nothing in your story. And who would love to watch an abstract movie which neither has congruency nor a strong storyline. But still you managed to drag such mindless movie till the end. People who are reading my analysis just know this the movie did not have an end either. All guesswork, I suppose.

The anthology which took us through mannequins, shanties, toilets, and heartbreak but failed to evoke any emotion. Written by noted writers like Piyush Gupta, Hussain Haidry, Shreyas Jain, Zeenat Lakhani, Nitesh Tiwari the story telling is shoddy. Audiences if you haven’t yet seen this anthology please do not vest your time and energy on this weak link of motion pictures. Waiting for a better version from the directors and writers. You see you always get a chance to do better.

About Author 

Rimli Bhattacharya is a first class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering with a MBA in supply chain management. She has contributed to two anthologies, A Book of light and Muffled Moans and has written two solo books, The crosshairs of life and That day it rained and other stories. Her other works have appeared in twenty nine literary magazines & E – Zines. She is also an Indian Classical dancer. Views expressed are personal.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated 

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