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Ajeeb Daastaans trailer: Intriguing Netflix anthology on complicated relationships

The four short films directed by Shashank Khaitan, Raj Mehta, Neeraj Ghaywan and Kayoze Irani delve into different connections amongst strangers — some forbidden, others life-changing.

Sonal Pandya

In the past few years, anthology films have allowed filmmakers to push the boundaries and tell stories in a shorter form. Following the success of Lust Stories (2018) and Paava Kadhaigal (2020), Netflix once again hosts four filmmakers — Shashank Khaitan, Raj Mehta, Neeraj Ghaywan and Kayoze Irani — who bring their own takes on complicated relationships with Ajeeb Daastaans (2021).

In Majnu, writer-director Khaitan has a tense love triangle with newlyweds Jaideep Ahlawat and Fatima Sana Shaikh. Ahlawat announces on their wedding night that he loves another; meanwhile, his associate played by Armaan Ralhan cozies up to his lonely wife. The situation doesn’t look like it will end well, with Ahlawat pointing a gun at Shaikh’s head.

The second short Khilauna, directed by Raj Mehta and written by Sumit Saxena, features Nushrratt Bharuccha as a poor single woman with a young daughter (Inayat Verma). She falls prey to exploitation just to make ends meet while her admirer (Abhishek Banerjee) can only watch helplessly from afar.

Ghaywan co-writes and directs Geeli Pucchi, which features Aditi Rao Hydari and Konkona Sensharma embarking on a relationship. The short explores both class and societal struggles as the women have to survive in a patriarchal world.

Finally, in Irani’s Anakhi, Shefali Shah is a frustrated mother whose husband (Tota Roy Chowdhury) ignores their mute daughter. She finds acceptance in Manav Kaul who also uses sign language, the only way to communicate with her daughter.

The four films take on issues like jealousy, entitlement, prejudices and toxicity. The anthology, produced by Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta, is due to be released on Netflix on 16 April. Watch the trailer below and let us know if you are keen to watch the film.

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