The much respected director Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s 2013 film Anwar ka Ajab Kissa is finally releasing now on a digital platform. The film has a unique melancholic quality about it which grips you from the word go. Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a small time detective who goes about doing his work rather dispassionately.
The film is set in Kolkata. Anwar stays alone and is evidently trying his best to grapple with loneliness. He shares his stories with his pet Labrador, Lalu. In spite of the loneliness, Anwar finds happiness in his own way, either by recounting stories of his past or longing for his long lost love Ayesha (Niharika Singh). His hat and his dark glasses make him conspicuous and somewhat ridiculous but Anwar carries himself with swag, even when he is stalking people as part of his job.
It is through Anwar’s eyes, that Dasgupta narrates various stories and they end up becoming humane stories when laced with the empathy that Anwar feels for the people involved. Dasgupta’s script is surely out of the ordinary as it offers a myriad of strange experiences even while narrating Anwar’s story. Most of these diversions appear just out o the blue, like a woman who is standing in the middle of the road and telling the inebriated Anwar that she hasn’t slept since years. Even as Anwar rubs his eyes in disbelief, you do a double take too.
The best thing about the script and the execution is that even though the lives of the characters seem to be seeped in melancholy and misery, there is always a distraction, a ray of hope, either within the character or through the circumstances outside of the person. Each person that Anwar comes across takes him back to a slice of his own life or makes him tap some hidden issues of his own. When he meets an old woman, who stays happy with her imaginary travels even when being neglected by her son, instead of pitying the woman, Anwar fantasises about time off with Laloo. Yet another display of the positive and uplifting quality of the script and the film. Even though at the outset it looks like Anwar is just going about his life dispassionately, you know there is much more to him in the way he deals with his clients.
Most frames of the film (Diego Ramero) are rich with innumerable stories happening in the background and thus adding depth to the narration. Pankaj Tripathi shines in a cameo, but the film definitely belongs to Nawazuddin. Nawazuddin lives the role with brilliantly and sensitively. This could easily one of Nawaz’s best performances. A must watch.
Title: Anwar ka Ajab Kissa
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Niharika Singh, Ananya Chatterjee, Makrand Brahme, Sohini Paul
Director: Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Platform: Eros Now