Netflix recently released yet another anthology series, much like its previous ones like Roy and Ajeeb Daastaans. Maybe, they’re trying to create a pattern with Ankahi Kahaniya or there’s just not enough content already that they needed more anthologies. But did we need this one? The title itself, which relates to untold stories, reveals to us that it is a collection of short stories, or rather, three short love stories.
The real question is, do we want to see any more such love stories anymore?
Ankahi Kahaniya Review
The first part of the story stars Abhishek Bannerjee, who plays the typical, meek, shy, village boy who’s lonely in the vastness of Mumbai. Pradeep, or “Pardeep” as he calls it, works at a clothes store. His life is monotonous- folding clothes, cleaning the store, covering for his colleague who wears clothes from the store for his dates at Juhu, getting packed food from a small “Bhojanalay,” Back at home, he has his dinner with a movie on his phone and the background noise of his roommate trying to make out with his girlfriend on call.
After a while, the director successfully establishes that Pradeep is lonely and lives with the idea that no woman would ever give him a second look. His annoying colleague ensures he continues believing it. But life changes for Pradeep when his boss orders him to bring a mannequin, but the first female mannequin.
The first story of Ankahi Kahaniya takes a weird twist after this episode. Pradeep falls in love with the Mannequin, who he decides to call Pari. So, he’s talking to him, blushing when he changes her clothes, carries her around as of on a date, dancing around with her, only until his sly and ungrateful colleague complains to the shop owner and gets him thrown off from his job.
What more could this part from Ankahi Kahaniya have? Pradeep, disappointedly returns to his village, to ultimately find his childhood friend waiting to be married to him. Things work out well, and Pradeep is in love again. He pleads with his ex-boss to give him his job back because he was getting married and needs money to care for his wife. The boss agrees, Pradeep joins back, only to find that Pari wasn’t a part of the store anymore.
An emotional Pradeep runs around to find Pari and finds her in a dingy godown. He talks to her about how she helped him find someone and true love, and leaves. What makes us question what director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari wished to convey with this story in the anthology Ankahi Kahaniya?
Loneliness? That fantasies could lead to love? That it’s okay to fall in love with a doll? No judgment here, and can’t blame the loneliness either, after all, it is hard to find love in the big cities, especially if you’re not making enough money. While some might think the concept is a little way into the future, for me, it got a little cringy. Moreover, Abhishek Bannerjee is a bundle of talent, and the audience is overtired with seeing him play typecasted roles as a villager always lost in understanding things and finding himself.
Clearly, the first part of the three-part Ankahi Kahaniya did not work, while still holding on to the hope that the other two parts would be better.
Ankahi Kahaniya Part 2 Review
Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, part 2 of Ankahi Kahaniya also bases in Mumbai, depicting the life of a Marathi girl (Rinku Rajguru) stuck in a poor household, where she’s denied education, is regularly slapped by her mother and brother and is stared at by fellow locality men, some of who even try to touch her. Sadly, her mother doesn’t stand up for her.
Manjari has only two ways to escape her situation- embroidery, through which she makes some money, and watching Marathi films at the age-old single-screen theatre. And that kills it all. It’s not like we don’t watch other movies based on the times gone by, but this one, the connection between this young girl and Delzad Hiwale is too backdated for the present.
The two lock eyes and she starts visiting the theatre every day, fighting several battles at home. Love ensues between the two. Delzad is frustrated with taking care of a now old man, addicted to alcohol, but continues to take care of him because he gave him a home when he was little.
Frustrated with their other lives, the young couple decides to run away. And they do, one early morning, only to end in a way that rather confuses the audience and raises more questions. So, they don’t take the same bus, even though there is a clear liking for one another. Why? The second part of Ankahi Kahaniya also felt a little blah and so did the kind of romance and ending!
Ankahi Kahaniya Part 3 Review
Part 3 of Ankahi Kahanaiya is no less messed up, although, it did make more sense than the other two. Directed by Saket Choudhary and starring Nikhil Dwivedi, Zoya Hussain, and Kunal Kapoor, this story is set in urban Mumbai. Two married couples, one with established problems and the other that thinks everything is okay but it is not.
One of each of the couple realizes their partners are having an affair with each other, and there is this unnecessary need to find out how, where, and when the affair commenced and how it ended. The drama that goes around it isn’t rousing, and it drags after a certain point.
This story from the Ankahi Kahaniya anthology had more scope to establish how the lady was experiencing an identity crisis, and she needed to realize that she cannot be a backup to someone who’s accustomed to having affairs and then apologizing for it. Somehow, it just didn’t click.
Ankahi Kahaniya doesn’t work on many levels. The experienced directors could have done a lot more using their creative liberty and power to fictionize simple stories. But fantasies, cluelessness, and overthinking messed it all up for the worse.
It’s hard to shell out those stars out of five for this three-part anthology on Netflix. But the actors, who did pretty good with the scripts they received, and the background scores do take this credit right away. If you got time to kill, then maybe you can watch this one. If not, there isn’t much you’ll miss. Probably, you can give this one a skip from all the other fabulous content coming up on the OTT platforms these days.
Have you watched Ankahi Kahaniya streaming now on Netflix yet? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below. Do hit the like button below if this review helped you decide to watch or not. Subscribe to us so we can personally send you more reviews on movies, books, and web series relating to the themes of love, relationships, family, and the like!
We recently published an article on shooting down some common relationship myths. You can read it here.
Copyright © 2021 Love Smitten, India, Inc. All rights reserved.