Anthology films — especially these recent ones on Netflix India — have always been plagued by an unevenness. But Ajeeb Daastaans is so inconsistent that it borders on self-sabotage.Ajeeb Daastaans 2021 Movie Download.
In both Lust Stories and Ghost Stories, it was Karan Johar’s short that stuck out like a sore thumb. Johar sits this one out as director, having restricted himself to producing duties. In Ajeeb Daastaans, the uncle pushing his way into an already-full elevator is one of his many proteges, Shashank Khaitan. His film is the weakest of the four, and I’m not sure how wise it was to have the anthology open with it.
Starring Jaideep Ahlawat and Fatima Sana Shaikh as a couple trapped in a loveless marriage, Majnu is a largely incoherent story that is concerned more with pulling the rug from under your feet than crafting compelling characters or a plausible plot. Khaitan, seemingly bitten by the auteur bug, has not only written and directed the short, but also co-composed music and penned the lyrics to a song. He builds towards a twist that comes across as trite, and potentially problematic.Ajeeb Daastaans 2021 Movie Download.
It’s the sort of film in which a man’s genitals are deep-fried as punishment 10 minutes in. And things get consistently more improbable with every passing minute. So potent is its sourness that the aftertaste can be felt well into the second short, directed by another graduate from the Dharma school of storytelling, Raj Mehta.
He uses a similar plot-driven approach in his Big Little Lies-inspired film, Khilauna, starring Nushrratt Bharuccha and Abhishek Banerjee. They’re both very good, but once again, all nuance has been erased from the story by the heavy-handed direction, and a seemingly tacked-on twist at the end.
Unlike most anthology films, Ajeeb Daastaans isn’t bound by thematic tissue, beyond, of course, a vague idea of ‘weirdness’. Each of the four shorts ends in a shock reveal, but only two of them feel earned.