From Class Divide to Lust, 5 Films in Anthology Series That Deal With Risky Themes
With the theatres being closed, over the top platforms have seen a boom in content, be it regional or mainstream. With the constrain of earning big at the box office gone, and the audience being more accepting of actors who are not popular stars, it has given filmmakers the push to experiment with brave stories. Stories that would otherwise have been unfeasible to show on the big screen. And the production of anthology series has taken this whole process of telling risky stories a step further. So here we have collated a list of such features from within some of the recent anthology series, that have dealt with themes commonly missing in the mainstream.
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not- Feels Like Ishq
Queer representation in most Bollywood films has always been in the extremes. Either it is over the top with its portrayal of characters or there are depressing stories about their survival (which is not inaccurate). However, what these kinds of films generally miss is a proper and ‘normal’ representation of these characters, which do not alienate them further. One of the shorts of Netflix’s recent anthology series She Loves Me She Loves Me Not written and directed by Sulagna Chatterjee and Danish Aslam respectively does a commendable job in normalising queer stories and making the story about their journey and not their sexuality. Starring Sanjeeta Bhattacharya and Saba Azad, the short is something whose extended version would be a great thing to watch on the big screen.
Dibakar Banerjee’s short- Ghost Stories
It is for the same reason Dibakar Banerjee’s segment in Ghost stories stands out. On the face, it is a post-apocalyptic zombie flick where un-dead people from the big town Sau-ghara eats up people from the smaller town, Bees-ghara. On a closer look, it is a fine retelling of the prevalent caste and class divide that looms over us like an evil.
Karan Johar’s short- Lust Stories
Lust Stories took a daring step by focusing on stories revolving around women’s sexual desires and the need to express them unapologetically. It did not shy away from making its female leads talk about sex openly, and the one short that stands out for being a little more audacious is Karan Johar’s short starring Kiara Advani, Neha Dhupia and Vicky Kaushal. It follows a school teacher who discovers she is unsatisfied with her sexual experiences after marriage, which her husband fails to realise. So, she takes matters into her own hand by bringing a vibrator to her house, but a series of misfortunes bring out her secret in front of her husband and mother-in-law. That’s when we see her talk openly about women’s pleasure to her husband and how that is nothing to be ashamed of.
Geeli Pucchi- Ajeeb Daastaans
The third instalment of this anthology film, Neeraj Ghaywan’s Geeli Pucchi is one of the recent productions that deal with lesbian relationships through two women Bharti and Priya, portrayed by Konkona Sen Sharma and Aditi Rao Hydari respectively. While the former is well aware of her preferences, the latter is yet to discover herself, though her actions give the hint that she has always been in love with women. The short adds another important layer of caste-based discrimination that stands in the way of the characters in their journey to discover their true selves.
The Interview – Feels Like Ishq
This segment in the series directed and written by Sachin Kundalkar and Arati Rawal respectively revolves around two people played by Zayn Marie Khan and Neeraj Madhav who meet while interviewing for the job. The former helps the latter break his shell of uncertainty and prepares him for the interview while they wait for their turn, while by the end of the interview and the episode turns into a blooming friendship. The story is not something we have not heard or seen but it stands out for its intricate take on class struggle without being preachy about it. The short shows the struggle of the working class without being excessively depressing or pushing the idea of toxic positivity that one should always be satisfied with less. It is something we would definitely love to watch on the big screen.
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