Sanjay Gupta’s ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’ is an interesting, engrossing and entertaining watch. The movie is a rare experiment, comprising of ten different short stories by six directors.
The tales in Dus Kahaniyaan almost reminded me of short stories by O Henry. Though there is no Henry-esque humour in the film, every story has some coincidence, contrived circumstance, or a twist in the tale. And the best part is that every short film has been shot and presented realistically, lending a strong credibility to each tale.
It would be unpardonable to give away the stories in detail, so here are just the rough outlines of them.
One of the best short stories in the film, ‘Matrimony’ by Sanjay Gupta has Mandira Bedi playing a bored wife of a businessman ( Arbaaz Khan ). Secretly, she is having an affair with another man (Sudhanshu Pandey). The affair comes to an end when he has to leave the city. But before leaving he gives her a gift that coincidentally unravels a new, shocking secret to Mandira.
High On the Highway
This film by Hansal Mehta is slightly ambiguous as the doped minds of its protagonists – Jimmy Shergill and Masumeh Makhija , film students who like to get high and hit the highway. But their lives change on the fateful, farewell night after an incident on the highway.
Of the ten kahaniyaan, this short film by Meghna Gulzar is the best, solely because of its superb story. In a small village in Punjab, a mother ( Amrita Singh ) gladly conducts the engagement ceremony of her daughter ( Minissha Lamba ). As Amrita’s rude talking husband leaves to buy things in city, the daughter (Minissha) dresses her mother with her own engagement dress and choodiyan, just to see how Amrita looked as a bride. It is the night of the full moon, the night when someone from Amrita’s past comes calling on her doorstep.
Except for the twist in the end, the story of ‘Zahir’ looks plain and dull. Manoj Bajpai , a struggling writer shifts in as the next-door neighbor of Dia Mirza . In no time the two become thick friends. He makes the first move and kisses her. She rebuffs and walks away. Then a disturbing truth about Dia comes to the fore. But there is another truth that is more shocking than this one.
Strangers in the Night
Beautifully shot, this short story by Sanjay Gupta is a tad disappointing. Neha Dhupia plays a wife telling one of her secrets to her husband Mahesh Manjrekar . This is a ritual the couple follow every year on their anniversary. The secret looks like a sexual episode from the wife’s past. But it is more than that.
This is the dullest short story in the medley. Neha Uberoi gets down a train following a mysterious woman and ends up at the house of Aftab Shivdasani , a painter living alone in a house in the hills. The two share many tender moments but then comes the time for her to leave.
Sex On The Beach
This one is a bizarre film by Apoorva Lakhia . Dino Morea finds a book on a beach and what he reads in it comes to life in reality. A sexy girl ( Tarina Patel ) walks up to him and puts forth the proposal of the three-letter word. But what turns out knocks the daylights out of Dino.
Directed by Rohit Roy , this is one of the best short stories in the film. A devout Hindu woman ( Shabana Azmi ), who abhors Muslims, quarrels with a Muslim man in a railway canteen over a rice plate. It is an incident that changes her belief.
The appeal of this short film is more emotional than intellectual. After a petty squabble with her husband during a busride, the wife sits next to a peculiar stranger ( Nana Patekar ) with many balloons. The stranger tells her the balloons are for his wife who is cross with him. But a different reality unfolds when the stranger gets off the bus.
Rise and Fall
Old habits die hard. Sanjay Gupta shows his old penchant for making stylistic crime movies in this short film starring Sanjay Dutt and Sunil Shetty as two gangster friends divided by power. It is also about two kids who came to the city and got sucked in the whirlpool of crime. It is literally about their rise and fall.
The appeal of ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’ lies in the novelty of its concept. Almost all the stories are about ordinary characters in extraordinary circumstances. Sanjay Gupta emerges the frontman with five stories directed by him, ‘Matrimony’ and ‘Gubbare’ the best of his lot. Meghna Gulzar and Rohit Roy share the second spot with their impressive films ‘Puranmaasi’ and ‘Rice Plate’. Hansal Mehta does a commendable job in ‘High on the Highway’, but he leaves a few questions unanswered. Apoorva Lakhia’s ‘Sex on the beach’ is spooky. Jasmeet Dhodi disappoints with ‘Lovedale’.
Among performances, the ones that stand out are by Amrita Singh, Nana Patekar, Shabana Azmi (if you ignore her contrived accent), Mandira Bedi, Jimmy Shergill, Manoj Bajpai and Dia Mirza. The rest, including Sanjay Dutt, are ordinary.
All in all, with the exception of a few dud kahaniyaan, the movie is definitely worth a watch.
source : apunkachoice