Solid: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Niharika Singh, Ananya Chatterjee, Makrand Brahme, Sohini Paul
Director: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Score: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
When director Buddhadeb Dasgupta is at his finest in Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, his fourth Hindi narrative function, he captures life’s damaged rhythms superbly and touchingly whilst he celebrates the resilience of just a little man.
Streaming on Eros Now, the movie, which alternates between the brooding and the vigorous, and the wistful and the sardonic, is shot by way of with Dasgupta’s distinctive, typically deadpan poetic thrives and enlivened by a scintillatingly pitch-perfect Nawazuddin Siddiqui efficiency.
The melancholic tone of Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa is leavened with nostalgia for the receding mild; the pessimistic air is tempered with lingering hope of regeneration; the arduous, meditative edge is softened by sustained humanism. The deal with is redoubled by the lead actor, completely forged as a personal investigator who’s extra misplaced than the prodigals he’s tasked to search out.
Dasgupta suspends the titular determine, the person’s story, and its spatial parameters someplace between acute realism and genteel, tactile fancy. The eponymous protagonist is a faltering, unassuming detective in contrast to any we’ve got encountered in Hindi cinema earlier than. His job is to search out solutions. He poses questions as an alternative.
Mohammad Anwar is not the cocky, tough-talking sort both. He recollects with fondness his rural postman-father and his “hazaar khat, hazaar kahaniyan“. He breaks into a delicate jig as he sings a quantity impressed by a Sukumar Ray nonsense rhyme (Hattima Timtim…). He creates a dreamy world for himself and repeatedly retreats into it.
Anwar, sporting a black hat and darkish glasses, carrying a backpack and a nonetheless digital camera for the purposed of gathering photographic proof, and exuding a indifferent manner that belies his agency dedication to his job, works for a detective company that sends him on assignments pertaining primarily to lacking individuals.
Be it within the discipline or within the confines of his modest residence in a rundown constructing, the protagonist grapples with crushing loneliness. Siddiqui fleshes Anwar out with instinct and empathy, conjuring up a person whose pluck is as intriguing as his plight is sympathy-inducing.
Pankaj Tripathi – he was forged within the movie earlier than Masaan catapulted him into the collective consciousness of lovers of impartial Hindi cinema – has a single-sequence cameo as one of many lacking males Anwar is employed to search out. Tripathi makes an prompt affect – and leaves a long-lasting imprint.
Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, lensed by Spanish cinematographer Diego Romero and embellished with a musical rating by Alokananda Dasgupta, has the texture of a freewheeling ballad, a composite of a number of chronicles of loss and longing. Whereas Anwar strives to alleviate the humdrum by hitting a bottle of rum each night time and indulging in incessant chatter with a loyal Labrador, his purchasers are not any much less within the doldrums. Every considered one of them is confronted with emotional deprivation of 1 form or one other.
A household man disappears with no hint and Anwar’s investigation leads him to a startling secret. Anwar commiserates with the lacking individual’s spouse and grown-up daughter however is not averse to giving the ‘suspect’ a compassionate listening to.
An previous farmer’s 11-year-old son, working within the metropolis to complement the household’s meagre revenue, goes lacking. He feeds the distraught peasant in a restaurant – the person eats to his coronary heart’s content material – earlier than he ventures forth looking for the kid. The journey does not finish effectively for him.
A well-off government abandons his spouse (Ananya Chatterjee) and son and vanishes into oblivion. Anwar tends to dig deep into the lives of the people whose disappearance he probes; generally, he goes method too deep for his personal good. One task takes him again to his rustic roots and to Ayesha (Niharika Singh), the love of his life who he has by no means been in a position to overlook.
Dasgupta’s meticulous script is strewn with unexplained absurdist diversions. As he walks his canine one night time in a drunken state, Anwar meets an previous girl who wails that she hasn’t slept a wink for ten years. He rubs his eyes, undecided if he can imagine what he has simply seen and heard. Throughout a foray right into a rural outpost within the line of responsibility, he runs right into a wizened man who asks each passer-by what time of day it’s.
Anwar helps a girl (Farrukh Jaffar in a luminous cameo) cross a road, befriends her within the discount and is handled to tales of her in all probability imaginary travels, which, in flip, set off wanderlust in him and take his thoughts again to his boyhood years. A younger woman (Amrita Chatterjee), a neighbour, sneaks as much as his door once in a while and eavesdrops on Anwar as he converses together with his pet.
These flashes of caprice elevate the struggles of an insignificant outsider who pursues folks and seeks the reality all in a day’s work however is barely in a position to fathom the aim – and which means – of his personal life to the extent of 1 man’s epic quest for happiness. Anwar is misplaced in a metropolis that hardly tolerates the likes of him. The assignments that he lands draw him out of his self and reveal key sides of his character, one layer at a time, however closure not often comes his method.
The one true pal he has is the canine he rescued when the unique proprietor deserted the canine as a result of it had scabies. The animal is his consuming mate, too – it has a passion for the rum that the grasp drinks each night in a house the place each consuming and pets are forbidden.
There may be a lot that the self-effacing Anwar has misplaced in life, together with his childhood, the village of his growing-up years, his maternal grandmother’s imposing parental residence, and the lady he cherished. It’s comprehensible why he’s so connected to the canine – it’s the solely residing creature he has discovered and retained in a lifetime of joys which have slipped out of his grasp.
The large metropolis lets the folks on its fringes conceal themselves and their true emotions however affords them no solace. However Anwar is not one to surrender on his hopes and rules. One case establishes Anwar’s broadmindedness, one other brings to the fore his beneficiant spirit, and a 3rd helps him get in contact together with his innermost urges.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is completely good on this parable of ache and pining. The actor’s fascinating, acutely angular interpretation of a person who darts seamlessly backwards and forwards between earnestness and resignation and Dasgupta’s mastery over the medium make Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa a should watch.