Dus Kahaniyaan

The eagerly awaited new format movie produced by Sanjay Dutt's Whitefeather Films and by Sanjay Gupta which features 6 Directors (Sanjay Gupta, Meghna Gulzar, Hansal Mehta, Rohit Roy, Apoorva Lakhia, Jasmeet Dhodi), over 30 actors (will give more on these a few lines down), 4 music directors and for obvious reasons 10 writers.

True to its name (and no twist there) the movie has 10 stories each roughly around 10 minutes and focuses on multiple topics from relationships to perceptions to the supernatural. This format is pretty unique although most of us have been exposed to it with Darna Mana Hai and Darna Zaroori Hai which again featured an ensemble cast and multiple stories. While these two movies featured short stories with the common theme of fear, Dus Kahaniyaan fatures no particular theme other than a twist in the tale, which possibly is the among the only few shortfalls in this movie.

The movie has stories with different titles like matrimony (Arbaaz Khan, Mandira Bedi, Sudhanshu Pandey), Lovedale (Aftab Shivadasani, Neha Uberoi, Anupam Kher), Rice Plate (Shaban Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah), High on the Highway (Jimmy Shergill, Maumeh), Gubbare (Rohit Roy, Nana Patekar, Anita Hasandani), Zahir (Manoj bajpai, Dia Mirza), Pooranmashi (Amrita Singh, Minisha Lamba, Parmeet Sethi), Strangers in the Night (Neha Dupia, Mahesh Manjrekar), Sex on the Beach (Dino Morea, Tareena Patel) and Rise & Fall (Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty). Whew ! That too me quite some time to compile and as you can see the stories and cast in each of the stories are diverse and that is what makes this format interesting.

Each story has its own plot and sticks to it and each director brings in his/her own flavour which becomes evident as you sit through the movie. My favourites were:

Matrimony, the tale of a wife who accepts a gift from her lover and tries out a way to bring it into her house but then finds out that all is not as it seems.
Strangers in the Night, a tale that a woman tells of her encounter with a man in a lonely railway station and you realise how cliched our thoughts are.
High on the Highway, a tale of two youngsters who are high and walking on the highway. I liked this fun for its style more than the story.
Rise & Fall, a tale of a king of the underworld and his lieutenant and of two young boys on their first hit (or supari). this tale has the typical Sanjay Gupta styling and that's what I liked.

In spite of all this largeness to the movie, I felt disappointed and let down, not because of the direction but because of the stories themselves. We have been exposed and overexposed to tales and twists be it of suspense, drama or crime and this movie lacked what I commonly refer to as soul. That's because not all the stories were up to the level of the others and some of them like Rice Plate were based on commonly forwarded email stories. for the most part the actors put in a decent performance. the background scores are above average and add value to the storytelling. Does the fact that there was no common theme to the 10 stories matter ? Well.... Yes and No. The lack of the common theme can make this format interesting if each of these stories were new and had a depth to them that holds you for the 10 minutes or so that you are present in. Sadly, this wasn't the case and that's why while this movie could have been a roller coaster ride giving you a high, it turns out be a drive with a few potholes which take away the fun of the drive !


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