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The name ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’ altogether paves the way for the viewers to presume that the storyline/plot is somehow peculiar.

In the OTT world, this anthology movie is a bit offbeat as, unlike other series or movies, it does not has that ‘happy ending’ or ‘happily ever after’ notion. On the contrary, it portrays the complexities and the delicacy of the love life. Read the complete review, Spoilers ahead.

Majnu

Manju

Based on the notion of marriage for the sake of political power. Just like other stories, it has the perspective of love, hate, identity, and homosexuality. Although, at first instance, the title might be found juxtaposing but there are many subdominant themes.

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The dominant theme still lies hidden until the very end when it is found that ‘Revenge’ is what plays the main role. The story is complete in its sense while giving it a completely unpredictable ending.

Khilauna

Khilauna

The second story, Khilauna, is based on class division and discrimination. The story highlights the lives of a housemaid, her sister, and a laundryman. The story aptly portrays the picture of the poor from the eyes of the rich or vice-versa. The title’s significance can be seen in the dialogue “Dono log Ek dusre ko Apna khilauna samajhte hai”.

Geeli Puchhi

Geeli Puchhi

The story has multifold from portraying class division to homosexuality to gender discrimination. Based on identity crisis and how two women deal with their emotions and social life, the story depicts the dwelling relationship between two women but ends with a saddening note where they move apart because of the caste system and the protagonist playing her card and gaining the desired position at work.

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Ankahi

Ankahi

Last but definitely not least is the part where the characters convey unspoken thoughts well. The title correlates well with the plot as the characters communicate mostly through sign language. The portrayal of the delicate relationship of a couple and its contrast with the new relation being built by the female lead.

Many prospects of family life are unfolded from a couple’s bond to that of a mother-daughter. The spectators dive deep as the story catches the viewers’ emotions but ends with correlating the ending to the title by leaving many feelings and emotions unspoken and unsaid.

The noticeable part of the movie is that the endings do end with the notes of surprises, dilemmas, and immense emotions, completely justifying the title ‘Ajeeb Daastaans.’

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Which of the story as per you, relates well to the title ‘Ajeeb Daastaans’?

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Images: Ajeeb Daastaans/Dharmatic Entertainment

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Reviews

Baby Reindeer: A Graphic Testimonial Of Richard Gadd’s Inner Pain

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Baby Reindeer: A Graphic Testimonial Of Richard Gadd's Inner Pain
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Baby Reindeer on Netflix is based on the real-life stalking incident of the show’s creator, Richard Gadd. The series follows a fictionalized representation of comedian Richard Gadd who plays the role of Donny, a decent enough comedian and a very successful bartender who develops a flirtatious relationship with Martha (Jessica Gunning), an unkempt, slightly creepy woman who tells that she is a very influential lawyer but in reality, she cannot even barely afford even the most basic things, such as a cup of coffee. 

Baby Reindeer Story

Situated in a police department of London station, Donny Dunn (the real Richard Gadd as himself) stumbles into the front desk to inform a bored, uninterested police officer that he is being chased. Donny had encountered a woman called Martha in the bar where he works, and she had begun to stalk him and had written thousands of emails per day to him. 

When Martha’s fascination turns into full-fledged stalking, resulting in 41,071 emails and 350 hours of voicemail, Donny finds himself compelled to face up to previous traumatic events and accept responsibility. What happens next forms the basic premise of Baby Reindeer as dealing with Martha’s introduction in his life leads Donny to address with a sexual assault that occurred on the comedy network and larger concerns regarding his gender identity and position in the world. 

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Also, read:

Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: One Of The Finest Films Directed By Imtiaz Ali

Baby Reindeer Performances

Richard Gadd is oustanding in the role of Donny, a force to reckon with in each and every scene he features in, even in the scenes which show him during Donny’s most unpleasant moments. He expresses his most personal feelings on screen, establishing the stressful headspace of his inner fears, disbelief, and, finally, strength with a rawness and sincerity that is both courageous and intriguing. His performance is defined with periods of poignant sensitivity mixed with flashes of anger and resistance, resulting in a complicated depiction of a man dealing with the consequences of trauma. 

However, one cannot miss the character of Jessica Gunning, whose powerful performance as Martha will make you feel really empathetic for her one minute and the take you by surprise the very next minute, making you tremble. The actual horror of the entire situation is heightened by really uncomfortable close-ups and interlude text cards that show various snippets and previews of the most disturbing text messages Donny receives from Martha on a regular basis. 

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Baby Reindeer Writing

The series begins with a remarkable mix of interactive elements, discourse, and audience participation, pulling audience members into Gadd’s universe with an uncomfortable and very moving proximity. Gadd carefully puts together fragments of recollection, trauma, and reflection using a nonlinear narrative framework, enabling the viewers to join him in putting together the pieces of the puzzle of his journey. 

Baby Reindeer Conclusion

Within the sadness, there are times of amazing beauty and relief. Gadd’s journey serves as a tribute to the human being’s resilience, reminding us that even at the worst of times, there’s still hope for recovery and restoration, Baby Reindeer proves exactly that in its concluding moments making it an intense and captivating binge-watch over the weekend. 

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Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: One Of The Finest Films Directed By Imtiaz Ali

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Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: One Of The Finest Films Directed By Imtiaz Ali
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Amar Singh Chamkila is such an incredibly made film. Here’s the Amar Singh Chamkila movie review that suggests it could be one of Imtiaz Ali’s finest films.

The film sucks you in right from the first scene (though the staging and editing of the opening scene could have been done a little better, it isn’t a major drawback, but it is a little jarring to see, the film has some minor errors when it comes to continuity in the blocking and staging of characters, but that is only one of the two minor problems of the film). 

Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: One Of The Finest Films Directed By Imtiaz Ali

Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: Writing and Technical Aspects

The narrative devices used in the film are extraordinary. It is just so refreshing to see such innovative styles being used in the contemporary Indian space. The screenplay begins with a simple narrative device, i.e. the non-linear structure, it moves forward with interludes from past and present but right after that, Imtiaz and Sajid Ali change the course of this narrative device and what do we get?

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We are being presented with a narrative within a narrative and the story moves forward through a bunch of unreliable narrators who have their own thoughts and opinions on Chamkila, some are sweet while some are incredibly sour, now this is where things become even more fascinating!

Since they’re all unreliable narrators, Imtiaz and Sajid Ali employ a number of narrative devices within these two layers, ranging from the characters breaking the fourth wall, there are frame freezes, there are split screens, the concert sequences transition to actual photographs and footages, the film opens like a street play and moves backward for the song Baaja, transitioning to animated sequences and then to oil painted canvases and if that wasn’t enough, the film is then narrated in comic strips at one point! And all of it has been done with immense precision without being jarring or overwhelming for even one minute! Absolute genius.  

One can also love how the film, right from the onset strikes a critical distance from the character, and also constantly makes you aware that you are watching a spectacle (similar to what you may have seen in classic films like A Woman is a Woman, Persona and Blow Up). The film never portrays him as the “perfect” person but as someone who feels he doesn’t have the moral compass or the right to deem things as “correct” or “wrong” (subtly integrating caste issues and the plight of Dalits) and for him, survival is what matters.  

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Also, read:

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: The Scriptless Experiment

Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: Gender Politics and Commentary

The film is never disingenuous with it’s treatment of the characters and narrative, objectifying men and women alike. The film captures the male gaze through Chamkila’s objectifying songs but it hits right back with the female gaze, striking the perfect balance of us, as people and as society. The socio-political turmoil surrounding Punjab becomes hauntingly connected with Chamkila’s life, so much so that Punjab starts resembling his tragic life. The film is hauntingly relevant even though it talks of events which have happened some 40 years back? 

Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: Music

A.R Rahman’s music along with Irshad Kamil’s lyrics cast a spell over you throughout it’s runtime, ranging from being fun, melancholic, raunchy, sad, contemplative, accepting and sometimes pure rage, all encapsulated wonderfully in the film. 

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Amar Singh Chamkila Movie Review: Performances

Diljit Dosanjh has wonderfully played the title role, he is very sincere with the part, you are right with him from the first frame and you do not see him as anything else but Chamkila. 

Parineeti Chopra has done a formidable job with her character bringing in the empathy and sensitivity that her character requires, she delivers exceedingly well. 

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Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: The Scriptless Experiment

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Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: The Scriptless Experiment
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At the onset, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan had everything a commercial Bollywood film would need, be it two of the biggest action stars of the country with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff, a director like Ali Abbas Zafar who has had a great track record in terms of number when it comes to the action genre, one of the finest actors of this generation in the form of Prithviraj Sukumaran.  But despite having everything the makers would ever need, they forgot to consider the most crucial aspect of filmmaking—the Script

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: The Scriptless Experiment

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: Writing

The plot of the film is the same as that of films like Pathaan, Fighter, Khuda Haafiz and every other film of the genre. There is literally no addition to the plot, but there is one difference. The films that we mentioned at least had establishments in terms of character development or plot points, but this film fails to do this, too. 

Two buddying cops are on a mission to stop a supervillain who has nothing but vengeance in mind and well-equipped technology at his disposal to destroy India and make it a weaker country for its rivals. The premise may have looked interesting on paper, but the execution is lacklustre at best. 

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Starting from random explosions to characters revealing backstories without adding anything important to the story to random expositions about the dynamics shared between characters, which add nothing to move the story forward. 

There is an instance when a character travels to Shanghai for an extremely important “intel,” only to be told that “Something big is going to happen,” and that is that. 

Tiger Shroff’s character describes the character of Prithviraj as “Pakka virgin aur Psycho Hai”; in another instance, he says, “Yeh aadmi hai ya dandruff? Jaata kyu nahi?” the film boasts of many cringe-worthy dialogues such as this. 

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All India Rank Movie Review: Unconventional Brilliance

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: Performances

It is shocking to see Tiger Shroff being more comfortable and confident in front of the camera than Akshay Kumar. One cannot help but wonder why Akshay Kumar delivers such monotonous dialogues or why he is so stale in the film. He mostly keeps a straight face, but it is sad to see his terrible comic timing, especially when it is compared to Tiger Shroff, who has done a better job than Akshay, that too in comedy or acting. But it is quite understandable because of the writing and pitch of their characters. 

Alaya F, Manushi Chillar and Sonakshi Sinha also have the same problem of being one-toned. They add nothing to the plot and are mostly mannequins. One may start to wonder why their characters were even integrated into the story or the screenplay, as they really did not have much to do. 

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Prithviraj Sukumaran would have been the saving grace of the film if he had more screen time or if his face had been revealed much earlier, neither of which happened. His face is concealed with a mask, his voice has been modulated to sound robotic, which makes it more jarring than terrifying, and he breaks into random monologues about a “pralay” every five minutes. Once the mask is off and you can see his face and expression, one can realise the missed opportunity that the makers failed to see. 

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: Action

Action is the one thing the cast and crew of the film have been boasting about in promotional interviews, and it is safe to say that it is an absolute train wreck. The frenzied camerawork is enough to give you headaches, the moves and cuts are all over the place, there are no match cuts from one shot to the other, the set-pieces are not exciting at all, the action choreography is a mess, and there is incoherence in every frame of all the action sequences.  

Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Review: Final Thoughts

The film tries to sell us what has already been sold to us, on a much better platter, in a much better way, and there is absolutely nothing to look forward to in this film that may give you an adrenaline rush or make you excited for what is to come next, it is a disaster. 

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