The four short film anthology series is the new product of Dharma Productions and Netflix India. It was released on 16th April 2021. A refreshing change that has come with the arrival of OTT platforms is the exploration of the otherwise unexplored avenues and spheres of Indian Society. It has also brought credible and noteworthy actors to the forefront which are otherwise wasted in the mainstream Bollywood films.
1. MAJNU by Shashank Khaitan The short film shows the talented cast of Jaideep Ahlawat, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Befikre fame Armaan Rahlan. This film touches upon the topic of homosexuality, class difference and infidelity. Lipakshi( played by Fatima) is married to Babloo(Jaideep Ahlawat) who tells her that he has been forced to marry her against his wishes and henceforth, he would not be able to establish any sexual or romantic relationship with her. Lipakshi engages in an affair with Babloo’s close aide, Raj. It is later revealed that Babloo is gay and Raj had accepted to join so that he can take revenge on Babloo for breaking his ingenious father’s leg who had loyally served him.
2. KHILAUNA by Raj Mehta This film stars Nushrat Bharucha as Meenal, Abhishek Banerjee as Sushil and Ludo fame Inayat Verma as Binny. The film depicts the hierarchies of social structure and class stratification. It becomes a tool for taking advantage of the poor. Meenal is a house help in an upper-class family so that she can get an electrical connection in her home for her sister, Binny. She is cunning and smart and has an affair with the colony ironman, Sushil. One day, the man of the house tried to physically assault and rape her. In the forthcoming celebrations of a newly born baby, somebody kills the baby. Who was that?
3. Geeli Pucchi by Neeraj Ghaywan Konkana Sen Sharma and Aditi Rao Hydari play homosexual characters who get attracted to each other. Bharti Mandal ( played by Konkana) is a Dalit woman aspiring for an office job is relegated to a factory job by her boss because of her ‘caste’. Married Priya Sharma ( played by Aditi) gets the same job even when she lacks the expertise. How they meet, hang together and learn about each other’s identities form the rest of the story. The film typifies the problem of caste discrimination in India.
4. Ankahi, by Kayoze Irani This film has a stellar cast of Shefali Shah who plays Natasha and Manav Kaul who plays Kabir. Natasha has a daughter who is a deaf and busy husband who lacks the emotional support that his daughter requires. Natasha meets Kabir (who is also deaf), the art gallery owner and how they get attracted to each other which bears grave consequences in their respective lives. The most impressive and thought-provoking short film out of the four was Geeli Geeli Puchchi. It touches upon many issues that are deeply entrenched in society. The other shorts also make their mark with amazing performances by all the actors. It is definitely worth your time.
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