Ankahi Kahaniya is an anthology film directed by Abhishek Chaubey, Saket Chaudhary and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, and starring Abhishek Banerjee, Kunal Kapoor, Delzad Hiwale, Palomi Ghosh, Rinku Rajguru, and Zoya Hussain, alongside other cast members. The movie has a runtime of 110 minutes.
Netflix describes it as:
As big city life buzzes around them, lonely souls discover surprising sources of connection and companionship in three tales of love, loss and longing.
– Ankahi Kahaniya review does not contain spoilers –
Ankahi Kahaniya makes it apparent in the first few minutes of its runtime that Abhishek Banerjee’s Pradeep Lahoria from Gadarwara is out of luck when it comes to love. He has a decent job, is pretty serious about it, but still can’t find love. However, that love comes into his life in the weirdest way possible.
Ankahi Kahaniya is just what the name suggests – some stories that are left unsaid. It’s a tale of loneliness and finding companionship in the most unlikely places. I think last year we all understood how all-consuming loneliness is. The movie focuses on something similar – what happens when there’s no one in your life to share your happiness and sorrow with? Do we all find happiness in the same things?
The stories in Ankahi Kahaniya are heartfelt as they are innocent. Sure, this isn’t for everyone. Not everything is. But, if you’ve ever felt lonely in your life in a room full of people, you’d understand where some, or all, of these stories are coming from.
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s story pushes this anthology off and I must say I was deeply moved by Pradeep’s need for a soul to talk to. And although he doesn’t exactly end up with a “soul” per se, it still does bring the point home. The story is innocent as it is poignant, the juxtaposition between Pradeep’s life and that of everyone around him feels like a personal attack. However, how it ends is what makes you just a bit teary-eyed.
Next, we move on to Abhishek Chaubey’s short. Set in Mumbai (as all of them are) and starring Rinku Rajguru, this story just screams of someone wanting more from life. It feels like the two leads want something filmier for their lives, having started off at a movie theatre.
However, it’s not just about romance. Manjari’s life seems like an abyss – with no direction whatsoever and no one in her corner, the theatre seems to be her only escape. Manjari’s character is just so soft-spoken, but her eyes say it all. You want her to achieve things, to escape the hand that she was dealt with. However, this story is left open-ended. We are just left to hope things will work out for her.
The last is Saket Chaudhary’s story. This is an urban, upper-class story, one about infidelity. Modern marriages are tricky, we are just used to getting everything handed to us as soon as we want them. However, Tanu and Manav’s lives get a bit trickier than that. Unfortunately, though, I think Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Abhishek Chaubey’s stories will connect with you more from the first instance. I think it’s because those stories just hit the right nerves.
The third story feels… pretentious. Almost robotic. It doesn’t go the way you’d expect – truth be told, it’s absolutely bonkers, but I guess the charm is just missing. The philosophical discussions feel a bit phoney after a while. That’s the reason why, probably, we start to get a little tired of Ankahi Kahaniya. It feels dragged out, too pretentious. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think it to be a waste of time, but it didn’t have the soul that the other two did.
Ankahi Kahaniya has some great acting. First of all, Abhishek Banerjee, whom we are used to seeing as comic relief, plays a serious role and excels at it. Banerjee’s Pradeep is every-way relatable (maybe not talking to a mannequin, but you know) and you want to give the man a hug. Moving on, Rinku Rajguru, as per usual, is absolutely phenomenal. So is Delzad Hiwale. Both of their characters don’t really speak much, but you get them all the same. Lastly, Kunal Kapoor and Zoya Hussain, in the third short, live up to what was expected of them. Both are great, but maybe a better story would’ve done them justice.
Summing up: Ankahi Kahaniya
Ankahi Kahaniya has two great stories and one not as great. However, it’s a solid anthology that talks about love and loneliness and how some things just remain unsaid. Love and relationships are complicated; you don’t always find it easy to find it or even if you do, sometimes you lose yourself in the process. The three shorts are a testament to its confusing, yet, ultimately rewarding ways. I am sure viewers will find at least one story that stays with them.
Ankahi Kahaniya is streaming on Netflix.