Dus Kahaniyaan :Movie Review

Dus Kahaniyaan is an experiment to club 10 stories about relationships into a movie helmed by six directors. And as an experiment it definitely works for the moviegoers who want to see something different from the Bollywood hype machine. It is far better than the Darna Mana Hai series and the choice of subject offers a richer tapestry for the directors.

The starting story of this enterprise ‘Matrimony’ is the smartest of the lot. Mandira Bedi looks ravishing and acts well showing how ignored an actress she is thanks to the overdose of her strapless spaghettis during the cricket matches. This story is very crisply edited and the twist takes a minute to understand and appreciate.

The best story from an engagement standpoint is ‘Rice Plate’. I would half predict that Rohit Roy (yes the same guy who hosts one of the music shows and acts in many serials) is a director to watch out for. He succeeds in making Shabana Azmi very believable and likeable as a Tamil Iyer paati. The last attempt to do the same Morning Raga was a disaster from the word go. Using simple story telling based on the old generations intolerance for other religions, he creates a fresh style of making a point about religious integration without force or over emotion or patriotism. An incident taken out of a normal day to present a larger thought is deceptively easy but tough to execute. And when you have Naseer in an impeccable cameo and Shabana getting her Iyer mannerisms right, you cannot ask for more from a debutante director.

Lot of people would like the story Pooranmashi helmed by Meghna Gulzar, which portrays the hinterland of Punjab with great narrative grip relying on very clichéd metaphors. Although there is enough pathos in this story, I would have expected a better ending by a woman director. Why can’t a woman who has chosen to have an extra marital relationship in a village speak up? Or are we to assume she was looking for some support from her lover Parmeet Sethi but he turns out to be a wimp. I think this latter part should have been explored a bit more.

The fourth story that was good was the Neha Dhupia and Mahesh Manjrekar. Again Manjrekar is perfectly cast as the suspecting wretched husband and Neha as the bored housewife. The takeaway from this story is poignantly developed and delivered. Good direction and casting.

And then you have Nana Patekar delivering a fine old wine performance in Gubbare. Although this story is predictable as soon as Anita sees Nana carrying 11 balloons for his wife, it tugs the heart and paints a lovely picture of married life. Perfectly directed by Sanjay Gupta you wonder if he should do an emotional movie for a change.

The last story Rise and Fall is the Sanjay Gupta we all know. Black suits, rain, bullets, underworld. Incredible stylized, especially the fight sequence in the rain, this story is weak from a scripting stand point and even Sanju baba is not in good form. Maybe he wanted to end this movie with a signature style clip but like Tendulkar he misses an easy century.

The other stories are ordinary. Ranked seventh would be the Manoj Bajpai Dia Mirza one. It was good to see Bajpai on screen after a long time; he still has some special screen presence. Just wish it’s utilized rightly. Dia Mirza is sugary sweet as usual.

Eight would be the High on the highway is a Barista generation clip although its a bit overdone and melodramatic. Although performances by Jimmy Shergill and Masoomi are average, there is something contemporarily cool about this story except for its ending.

The forgettable ones are directed by Apoorva Lakhia and Jasmeet Dhodi.They try to be spooky almost as if the directors forgot that this was Dus Kahaniyan and not Darna Maha Zaroori Hai.

Overall a good effort and a true multiplex product.


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