There have been many movies (like RGV’s Darna Mana hai, & Darna Zaroori hai) that are a collection of short stories, but they have been centred around a common premise, e.g. fear in case of both RGV movies. However, Dus Kahaniyaan is a different genre of aggregation – the central theme – none!
A few directors come together to showcase their flavors of disparate stories – obviously it’s not the easiest of tasks to create a cocktail that satisfies hard as well as soft drinkers – but coming to think of it, I guess the job is done satisfactorily in this case. I understand that many of the stories had an embedded cliché, but trying to project such an aggregation of stories, and that too to an Indian audience which is still maturing, is brave.
Agreed that stories like High on the highway, Sex on the Beach, Lovedale had an innate nonsensical & predictable touch, but then getting ten stories of the same punch is not the easiest of tasks!
Veterans Shabana Azmi & Naseerudin Shah (who, btw, appeared only in two scenes) prove why old is still gold – their marvelous acting should teach a lesson or two to others who have to take it as a launch pad. I personally liked Zahir & Gubbare most; Zahir because it had an unpredictable punch at the end, and Gubbare because of the mature, though predictable act put across by Nana Patekar. (I went to watch movie with C, and I could see her crying while Nana counted the Gubbare, and promised to bring more. That’s what you call a touché moment!)
Pooranmashi featuring Amrita Singh & Minnisha Lamba is another act worth a handful. Though another predictable story, Director holds together the story and ends it just in time. Strangers in the Night was a different concept, but not properly picturized. Director could have brought more life to the characters, in the end.
Let’s not even talk about the story involving Sanjay Dutt & Sunil Shetty – I understand that they are wonderful actors, but prolonging the movie to give them screen space is just not right. Arbaaz Khan & Mandira Bedi in Matrimony delivered more than what they are capable of, but still could not give it the thump to carry forward. The narrative tone in some of the stories also helps.
Net net, an interesting experiment, and worth watch for once. If nothing else, go and watch the movie, just for a change. I recommend watching it once, atleast for the brave effort.