Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa aka Sniffer premiered on 20th November 2020 on Eros Now. Directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, the film released on17 October 2013 at the BFI London Film Festival, and was also screened at the 2013 International Film Festival of Kerala. The 137-minutes-long film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Niharika Singh, Ananya Chatterjee, Makrand Brahme, and Sohini Paul alongside other cast members.
Anwar And Complexities
Back in 2013, Buddhadeb Dasgupta-directed Anwar ka Ajab Kissa received praise from audiences in film festivals but remained unreleased for audiences worldwide. The film found itself a streaming platform this year and a masterpiece was released. The 137-minutes-long film revolves around the life of a private detective Mohammad Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who gets involved on a personal level in his cases and looks out for people and clients. He is empathetic and moralistic in his life. He has a long-lost love who he yearns for and dearly wants and on the other hand, he lives with his ageing good-boy dog Lalu with whom he shares every single minute of his experience and existence – he is that important.
Anwar being a detective is no secret, he sports a black hat, glasses, and black coat and carries a camera with himself to gather evidence. It is fair to say that within Anwar is more lost than the people he’s trying to find. There is a melancholic tone to his character. He is not exactly a tough-talk, I’ll-beat-you-down guy but one driven by conscience and morality. In a place where he is supposed to find answers, he poses unasked questions. Our protagonist here grapples with painful loneliness and unrequited love. This is Anwar ka Ajab Kissa. (Anwar’s Strange Story)
The film has a vintage touch to it as it is set in Bengal. We see Anwar with a digital camera, we see people on cycles, old-time localities, and more. What adds to the entire idea of this setup is the dull colour scheme used in the film which doesn’t overwhelm people with pop-colours and focuses on the settings and characters. With each passing case, Anwar is stuck in a labyrinth, he meets a grandmother who loves travelling and a man names Amol (Pankaj Tripathi) who has abandoned his family to be his true self. It is these people who leave an impact on him.
Buddhadeb Dasgupta is known for his thought-evoking shots, characters, and ideas. Anwar ka Ajab Kissa is sometimes like a lyrical ballad and an ode, sometimes like an angry man’s journey, sometimes like a dream world of a man, and sometimes it is harboured by the lead man himself. The musical scores in the film induce a feeling of loss, love, and inner calling. And while an internally lost and overwhelmed Anwar talks to his Lalu every night with a bottle of rum, every day when he seeks out to solve a case, it is attached to someone who are themselves emotionally deprived and therefore, every case in an answer in itself and sometimes a question.
As the movie progresses with everything about it in place, there comes a case where Anwar is out and about in search of a person who apparently committed suicide but as things take a turn we come to know that the person was in a homosexual relationship. And while in a movie that is set in 2013, I expected Anwar to condemn it, he beautifully understands and accepts it. It is one of the best scenes in the film.
I saw Pankaj Tripathi for the first time in the 2015 film Masaan and that was the time when he started gaining recognition and love from audiences. Here, Tripathi appears in a scene of about 5-7 minutes, a small-cameo indeed, and leaves an impact with even the smallest of things he says. On the other hand, we see Siddiqui playing his role with finesse and displaying human complexities and absurdity with perfection.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Anwar ka Ajab Kissa is a beautifully-crafted movie with everything about it drawn to perfection. Lensed by Spanish cinematographer Diego Romero with sound-scores from Alokananda Dasgupta, the film is an example of Dasgupta’s command over his art.
Anwar ka Ajab Kissa is now streaming on Eros Now.
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