‘ANWAR KA AJAB KISSA’ IS AN UTTERLY STRANGE FILM

Rating: 3/5
Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s 2013 film finally sees the light of the day on Eros Now with Nawazuddin Siddiqui anchoring the narrative

The trailer appeared suddenly. On the very next day, the film surfaces on the OTT platform. You are bound to get excited. Courtesy: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi. Can you even think of missing the film? High on hidden meanings and ample connotations to send your mind on a spin, Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is for you only if you like cinema playing with your cryptic mentalities. If you think you like cinema for whatever it entails, think again.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Mohd. Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a clumsy private detective, leading a lonely life himself. More than sticking to his job, he delves deep into the lives of his clients. But that’s not all. This very nature of his takes him back memory lane.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Written by Dasgupta himself, the story is complex. Very much for a film. Writing such a piece and then executing it on screen is a mammoth task in itself. But Dasgupta has mastered the art undeniably. Here also, he signs the film with elements exclusive to him and his style of filmmaking. Long takes, tracks, frames within frames, and the ingrained pathos in what you call life. That’s Dasgupta for you, atleast here.

Symbolic in nature, the film is a comment on many things put together. Loneliness and how one person deals with it- things he uses to his advantage to come to terms with it; private lives of people, a sense of isolation, a person’s departure and the void created; memories that linger taking you back in time, love long lost; and how a city brings in complexities in your already tricky life. All these have made up the 126mins film with a screenplay that flows more like a poem that needs you to decipher at several points.

Anwar ka ajab kissa, eros now, hindi, film, review, 2020
Scenes from the film (image source: erosnow)

The film falls flat for a major segment of conventional cinema viewers, making it quite limited in its targetting. There will be audience that will remain alienated all throughout scratching their heads just trying to find something they can relate to. But unless they read deep between the lines, they won’t be able to. Of course that’s too much to ask for from such audience. The approach therefore is suitable for those who are into absurdities in cinematic viewing. There is hardly any entertainment value in the film. Even the jokes signal grief and sadness. Get it, that is how the film has been conceptualised.

The film is abstract, mundane, and even dull by its inherent positioning. The camera has been kept open allowing the action, even nature to deliver. The only respite for the masses is the spectacular Nawaz, who not only lifts the film strongly, but also enhances the artistic aspect of storytelling.

PERFORMANCE

Film after film, this man proves he is a legend. This film has become possible primarily because of this one man, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He is present in every scene of the film and there is no greater joy in seeing how he glorifies the shots. Trust our words here- watch this film only to learn what acting is. You watch him and you’ll feel he is a man you met on the street. You won’t see any acting, and that’s brilliant acting.

Pankaj Tripathi makes a one scene appearance. Undoubtedly, he makes an impression. This film was offered to him when he wasn’t a big shot commercially. You do realise that the audience indeed took too much time in accepting him.

Anwar ka ajab kissa, eros now, film, review, hindi, 2020
Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (image source: timesofindia)

Niharika Singh and Farrukh Jaffer in a small appearance do the needful. They bring believability in the drama. Ananya Chatterjee also lends warmth in the plot. Makrand Brahme is decent. Not great.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

Music by Aloknanda Dasgupta is well suited for the sensibilities of the film. The film isn’t heavy on tunes and score and relies more on sound design. It is good conveying the emptiness to a great level.

Cinematography by Diego Romero is one thing that the film stands out for. The first scene itself gives you a glimpse on what the film has in store for you. The colours and placement of lights is also very intelligent. The sets speak of fantasy and again, put forth the twisted theme of the film.

Editing by Amitava Dasgupta is leisurely and never rushes into the drama. There is a sense of reading a philosophical novel, and this is achieved by how one shot transitions into another. There are also match cuts to connect two different time and space zones.

The audience must realise that Hindi cinema also makes films like these. People liking this genre should atleast now believe in the viability of such projects. A difficult film. A good film.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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