Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dus Kahaniyaan : Bas Kahaniyaan...

Javed Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sudhir Mishra, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpai...

The list was good enough to take me to the theatre. This is what the front page on the site says.

10 stories, 6 directors, tens of actors, packed in a little less than 2 hours, definitely it had to be a Novel experience. But not all novel experiences are great.

First things first, please don't compare the movie with Darna Mana Hai or with Salaam-e-Ishq as this movie did not even try to be in that category. This movie reminded me of those good TV shows that I have seen over years Rishtey (on Zee), Star Best sellers(on Star One) and many more of it that used to come on DD1 earlier. Yes, some of the shorts in this collage are definitely good.

At times, you see that the content of a 3 hour feature film can be explained in just a few lines. I think this movie has said that in few lines, and hence has saved many of us from torture of seeing these stories in a 3 hour long feature film making a short out of each.

Say what you need to say and dont say anything more is what I liked about the film. So good overall feel about the film with some bad patches in between.

But before commenting on this as one single movie, lets just quickly see what the directors have put in.

Sanjay Gupta

I think the most impressive parts of this movie had a distinct Sanjay Gupta touch in its styling. He gives us a mixed bag, with a few very good and a few very bad movies. This is one thing that I like about him, he is never mediocre. He has directed 5 out of the 10 shorties and has done well in almost all of them barring the Sanjay dutt, Suniel Shetty starrer "Rise and Fall"


Dus Kahaniyaan starts with his story Matrimony. With a cast (Arbaaz Khan and Mandira Bedi) whom you don't expect to do wonders he has directed a nice short piece. Its a story of betrayal and unfaithful relationship. A nice story with a definite Roald Dahl kind of ending.

A wife cheating on her husband, trying to get a gift that her boyfriend gave her in to the house, a sweet husband and Trust, that should never have been there.

Would rate this short film at 3* for a good opening to an unusual format of story telling, though neither acting nor the story leaves a strong impression on your mind.

Strangers In a Night

A couple who talks about "THE moments of their life which they can never forget" on their anniversary every year. Last year it was the Husband who told about her sex escapade to his wife and this year its wife's turn. And she starts with a story that looks more like her making out with a stranger in a railway waiting room. But is it a story of sex and betrayal too? No it is not.

It tries to make a big impact with a twist in the end. Movie I thought was very good though the end was a little too abrupt and over the top. Good acting as expected by Mahesh Manjrekar and suprisingly by Neha Dhupia.

A 3.5* for sure.


A struggling writer (Manoj Bajpai) taking time out of life to make his career after being dumped by his girlfriend, a new neighbour (Diya Mirza) and the times they don't want to let go. They meet, they like each other, He makes the move, she denies. He unravels a truth about her and does an act that would leave not just her but him devastated for the rest of their life. A good story, good acting, nice direction needs to get a 3.5* in this lot.


Well this is kind of a mini masterpiece from the producer-director's SG's stable. Nana Patekar as a loving husband comes out fabulously with an act that you would remember out of all these stories. The newly wed couple of Rohit Roy and Anita looks beautiful as they fight on small matters which our old Nana watches. A good expected ending is made memorable by Nana's performance. Definitely one of my favourite stories of the all told.

4* for Gubbare.

Sanjay Gupta and Hansal Mehta

2 many directors spoil a movie. The same thing happens when these two comes together to direct a film. One that is full of style and devoid of any shred of substance.

Rise and Fall

This has a definite Kaante like touch with some great techniques catching your eyes in a true blue SG style. But ... Techniques don't make a movie. Two parallel stories of fall of 2 gangsters (Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty) as the two youngsters rise would be a good read if it were written but unfortunately conveying it through pictures was a failed idea.

Bad acting by both the lead actors, bad direction, bad story telling. Deserves nothing more than 0.5*. Sanjay Gupta starts it well and ends it Bad.

Hansal Mehta

He has directed two stories out of the lot of ten, and I would advise him to strictly stick to full length feature film and give us movies like his earlier "Chhal" and "Dil pe mat le yaar", offbeat and likeable.

High on the higway

It must be a bad movie when a 12 min short makes you feel that it is stretched and boring. Story about a college going couple, who loves getting high and walking on highway in front of trucks, starts with a very promising dialogue and you might feel that this will be a good movie. But as it gets dragged further it hurts.

Acting by both Jimmy Shergill and Masumi is strictly ok and is the best part of the movie. 1* at max is what it deserves.

Rohit Roy

He is the surprise package of this movie. Apart from acting in Gubbare he makes his directorial debut with Rice plate. And what a way to start, I would love to wait for more movies from this multi talented future star.

Rice Plate

Rohit could not have expected anything more than this. Two of the best actors (Shabana Azmi and Naseerudin shah) giving the most touching performances of the film.

Shabana Azmi as an old south Indian hindu woman truly took the character to a different level and so did Naseerudin shah as a Muslim gentleman. As she fights over with every Muslim she meets and feels that touching them too can be a bad omen, she comes across this kind hearted man who changes her view towards life.

No great twists in the film but still this will be the one that leaves an impression on your mind for a long time. 4* and nothing less.

Meghna Gulzar

Gulzar has written some of the best short stories ever to be written in Hindi. His works like Ravi Paar (Do read this book if you haven't) has impressed me over years. And here comes a short from her daughter. Though no where close to Gulzar Meghna Gulzar does a decent job.


Pooranmasi is story of a mother-daughter duo beautifully played by Amrita singh and Minisha Lamba.

Daughter is going to get married. Mother has been living a life of complete devotion to her husband and daughter. Her husband treats her bad, her lover keeps waiting for him. One single move and all the lives will get devastated.

Good story told nicely with very good acting by Amrita singh. Parmeet sethi is just OK. 3* for this film

Now, we come to two of the most forgettable works out of the ten, in lines of Rise and fall, falls lovedale and sex on the beach.

Apoorva Lakhia

His full length feature films have been good in past, but he just is all messed up when it comes to this short.

Sex on the beach

What more, you have a pathetic duo Dino Moria and Tareena Patel acting absolutely yukks in this sexy horror flick.

On a beach, people stumble upon a book that asks them to write their name on it, it moves on to a hope of making out for these people, ending in a dreadful end.

The story was ok, movie could have been far far better, and actors, anyone else would have done a better work. Tareena Patel and her acting skills gives a competition to Nisha Kothari .

Sorry for being bad, 0* for this movie.

Jasmeet Dodhi

I don't know her, and I would not like to know her unless she washes out what she did with Lovedale by some better movie in future.


A girl going somewhere, meeting someone, incidences taking her on to a different story, a whole lot of coincidences, all leading to a predictable end.

This is the worst piece of all which has made a bad story look worse.

Anupam Kher gets wasted in this forgettable piece as Aftab Shivdasani, Neha Uberoi and Anuradha Patel hams with the worst acting of the lot.

0* and no more.

Overall, I think there were both good and bad reactions from me on this format of movie making. It was good to see only as much as they want to say, no dragging, no making many points.

But what let it all down was

  • that before you could come out of a story another one starts.

  • And secondly, the time to develop characters was not there in many of the shorts.

  • Moreover the sequence of the movies was something that they could have never got right.

But I liked the way the stories were told. Would like to watch another inspired O'Henry collection like this in the same format. Give me more that is good is what I want to say.

Story writing was definitely good and all the credits for the same goes to Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Kamlesh Pandey and Vishal Bhardwaj.

Background music did not have anything special to offer and was mediocre at best. Bunty Nagi has done some fabulous work in editing. Chopping 10 movies to fit in less than 2 hours must have been very difficult for him. Publicity design for this movie was done by Epigram, I think that the publicity was very well designed but could not stand out in the crowd. A more focussed marketing for the movie would have helped.

A special mention needs to be given to Sanjay Gupta who conceived this movie and produced this. I feel if he gets his hold on emotional scenes correct, he is going to be one of the best directors of our time.

Overall a little less than 3* is what I feel the movie is worth.

1 comment:

Reddy said...

Very nice review... The most good point in the film is as you said no dragging, be on the point and fast. Though some of the movies are bad, but some of them I liked very much. Rice Plate is the one I liked the most.

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