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Stories On The Next Page: What Is The Point?

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Stories On The Next Page

Stories On The Next Page(Disney+Hotstar)

Directed by Brinda  Mitra

Rating: * ½

This anthology promised plenty. It delivers very little emotional  or creative satisfaction for  those who look for that sort of a thing in their omnibus experiences.

 To  be fair, Stories  On The Next Page is not even an anthology.There are three stories which  altogether wrap up in less than an hour. The  first  story featuring Abhishek Bannerjee and Ditipriya Roy is so scrappy I  mistook the final fadeout to be the  cutoff point for  the  prologue.By the  time I figured out the fact of the fiction, the anthology has  already moved on  with a  nervous shuffle.

 All  the  three stories  are wordy experiences  , restricted to one  location more for budgetary  than creative reasons. In  the  first story Balloo and Mowgli  the two actors speak in Bengali more because the characters are Bengalis than  to  give  a  cultural  placement to the actors.

 In  the second story Reunion, Bhupendra  Jadawat confronts his  lingering demons at an oldboys’ meet where the erstwhile  campus  bully(Namit Das) shows up as a  successful author. His bullying is held responsible  for  the bullied man’s relative  non-success in  life. The shrink’s  couch is missing. So  is  any attempt to  analyse  the  protagonists’  psyche beyond  the immediate  conversation.The  storytelling is  so shaky that the two  actors seem  to be  more in the rehearsal mode than the final take.

Also Read:  Here’s How Alia Bhatt Caught Up With  The Trailer Launch Of Her Biggest Film From London

The  third story  Sunshower is  of  some interest.  It features two veteran actresses  Renuka  Shahane and Rajeshwari  Sachdev  as  long-separated companions who reunite for a meal , arranged by  the former’s son after  the husband is conveniently  deceased.

 The set-up  smells like  what it is:  a  set up.It is hard to  believe  that any son would send his mother on a lesbian date  soon after his  father’s death. Renuka Shahane who plays Mrs Iyer looks  like anything  but Mrs Iyer. Rajeshwari Sachdev, always dependable, tries  hard to make sense  of her character. But the  villain here is the  script which makes  no space  for the characters to breathe  in peace.

Good intentions do not always breed  a productive environment. This  “micro anthology”  is a so devoid of a valid  raison d’etre it feels  like  a hurried  con-job which it probably isn’t. We will never  know.

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