Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa review: A cut above that should be seen, savoured and thoughtfully appreciated.
Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa review is here. English title (Sniffer) this 2013 Hindi dark comedy by the master filmmaker Buddhadev Dasgupta is finally streaming on Eros Now from November 20, 2020.
Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui along with Ananya Chatterjee and Pankaj Tripathi, the movie premiered on 17 October 2013 at the BFI London Film Festival.
Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa review
The poetic genius of Buddhadev Dasgupta’s storytelling and the mastery of emotions on screen by Nawazuddin Siddiqui results in a cinema that should be seen, savoured and thoughtfully appreciated. The rare sangam (meeting point) of a renowned filmmaker Buddhadev Dasgupta who has his own universal language of cinema (Phera – 1988, Bagh Bahadur – 1989, Charachar – 1994, Uttara – 2000, Mondo Meyer Upakhyan – 2002, Kalpurush – 2005) and an actor with refined nuances Nawazuddin Siddiqui create an exquisitely beautiful and beguilingly poetic chronicle of life, people, places, spaces, loneliness, togetherness, longing, belonging, allusions, reality, faith, fate and more.
The journey of Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) a maverick detective working in a small detective agency, ‘Inner Eye’ in Kolkata. He peeps into the life of complete strangers for a living sporting a black hat, dark glasses, a still camera for gathering evidence and flashes an intense, firm, serious look. Anwar is damned serious about his job and is thoroughly loyal to his principles and beliefs. In his encounters with those strangers, Anwar finds some connections in his lonely life where a Labrador is his only company. The Labrador is also his drinking partner.
The world of Anwar which has its good influences from the world of Ray and Ghatak (the side characters – the people), Buddhadev Dasgupta creates a dreamy world for his protagonist who goes on a retreat of hope, despair, pain, suffering, longing and finally comes home.
Dasgupta’s meticulous script primarily dwells on the irony of a big city which offers shelter but no space for individuals who have an open mind and are above the rigid common beliefs. The less privileged and more open village can in fact provide the freedom and the much-needed solace.
The mystic world of Anwar sees him accepting gay relationship without any fuss, walking drunk at night with his Labrador friend and encountering people who are facing basic problems like lack of sleep, digestion etc.
The world is in doldrums so are the clients of his agency and so is humanity and so is life.
Anwar’s striking quality of finding hope is astonishing. The encounter with that old lady played by Farrukh Jaffar (incredible) and the nostalgia that follows is enriching.
Adapting a one layer at a time approach, Buddhadev Dasgupta’s Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa sees people crossing paths with Anwar and Anwar in the bargain finding his way of solace.
The genius of Buddhadev Dasgupta is on display over here and that 3+ minute-long shot during the end reels is a master class.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is class apart.
Pankaj Tripathi in a cameo from those days before Masaan happened is a sheer delight. Niharika Singh is fantastic. Ananya Chatterjee is fabulous. Makrand Brahme and Sohini Paul lend good support.
Spanish cinematographer Diego Romero lensing is lyrical and seems like watching a soothing ballad. The liberating musical score by Alokananda Dasgupta makes the journey calm and soothingly mesmerising.
When did we last come across an Indian cinema propelled by the genius of a filmmaker and mastery of an actor powered by beguiling camerawork, soothing background score dwelling on the urban chaos we all are in.? Finding hope and solace and taking the viewer on a poetic journey that ends with a final image so quiet and beautiful which we rarely see in Indian cinema.