KOLKATA, 24 Nov 2020 19:07 IST
The two-hour-long film, which is loosely written, appears to be of interminable length.
Buddhadeb Dasgupta's 2013 release Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is not entirely about the journey of its protagonist Anwar, but the film is single-handedly propelled by Nawazuddin Siddiqui's portrayal of the protagonist.
An extremely slow-paced film which struggles to hold viewers' attention, Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is worth some amount of patience for Siddiqui's consistent performance. The film is so loosely written that one often wonders how Siddiqui managed to deliver deep expressions at certain points and make such a valiant effort to lend meaning to the film.
Anwar is a detective working at the Inner Eye Detective Agency. He is often curious about matters that are none of his concern. He has a peculiar way of spying on people — he does not maintain discretion but rather makes his job apparent, justifying his voyeuristic actions with moralistic platitudes.
The sleuth hardly keeps his professional life separate from his personal routine. He gets involved in his client's life and goes on a philosophical trip, reflecting on his takeaways from spying on people.
Anwar is different from most people. He gets drunk with his sole friend, his pet dog Lalu. In a stupor, Anwar arrives at conclusions about his life as he connects his perceptions with the new characters he comes across on the job.
Anwar's real-life journey is merged with the philosophical one but the audience is required to make an effort to figure out the connection between the two. Anwar is introduced to numerous characters and his life takes new directions with fresh realizations but these characters, with their exhausting detailing, hardly have proper arcs. The audience is expected to derive the significance of each of those meetings in Anwar's life as well as to the overall plot. Some of them have no bearing on the primary storyline.
With the introduction of a new character, a new shade of Anwar is revealed, some disjointed sequences are too linked with the revelations to highlight Anwar's journey back to his roots. His frequent meeting with the love of his life Aesha (Niharika Singh), who left him for a settled life, hints at Anwar recalling her in his subconscious mind at some of the most crucial moments of his life.
Though Anwar's actions are questionable in the beginning, gradually his humane traits are unveiled. He also makes his best efforts to give proper recognition to a homosexual relationship in a heteronormative world and raise his voice against child abuse but his brave steps hardly pay off — they only lead him to look for the true meaning of life and existence.
Siddiqui's effortless rendition of the character's eccentricities and compassion help us overlook the pretentious dialogue and faulty screenplay. Unfortunately, the other characters aren't of the same calibre and, hence, in the other performances, the loopholes become too apparent.
Pankaj Tripathi's character, Anmol, doesn't make much of an impact with its brief presence in the film. Neither does Ananya Chatterjee gets to display her acting prowess as Anmol's deserted wife.
Apart from Siddiqui, only Farrukh Jaffar as a spirited and ever-smiling woman captivates with her vibrant presence and expressions.
Diego Romero's outdoor camerawork is more memorable than when he captures the essence of several interactions between the characters. Needless to say, Amitava Dasgupta's editing fails to lend the film a compact feel.
Alokananda Dasgupta's music, on the other hand, adds something to some of the sequences.
Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is such a tiresome watch that the two-hour-long film appears to be of interminable length. The film indirectly glorifies Siddiqui as an actor, who proves his abilities time and again, irrespective of the scripts.
Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is currently streaming on Eros Now.
Watch the trailer and let us know if you are keen on watching the film.
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