Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dus Kahaniyan and other Wicked Stories...

I went to see the latest release "Dus Kahaniyan" (Ten Stories) yesterday.

Interesting concept - basically 10 separate stories, directed by different directors, one after the other. The stories were, as short stories are wont to be, in the Saki mold with sudden twists in the end. Also, the stories were a nice mix of drama, action, humour, mystery and even the bizarre.

I quite liked the concept except for the fact that many of the plots were quite predictable. In fact on atleast 3-4 occasions during the movie(s) I spoke the punchline dialogue with or before the protagonist (Yes, I am not a good person to watch a movie with :)). This is nothing to do with my immense intellect, but rather the obvious nature of the stories. Maybe some more obscure or strange stories could've been chosen.

Incidentally I was recently reading this compilation called "The Rupa Book of Wicked Stories". They've been compiled by Ruskin Bond and comprise of his favourite bizarre stories by some known, some unknown masters of the genre. So you have short stories from Saki, Ruskin Bond himself and Mark Twain rubbing shoulders with some authors that I hadn't heard of before but who Ruskin calls masters in the foreword of the book (Do you read the foreword of a book? I've found myself reading them a lot recently. Typically in an appetizer way, to whet my desire of reading the whole book) like Ambrose Bierce, E H W Meyerstein and Ralph Strauss.

All the stories were quite good, (Theres something about Ruskin Bond - whatever he does or write or say or compiles always seems to come from a child with wide open eyes and a clever smile. The other indian author who conjures up an image for me is Khushwant Singh- that of a barely pubescent boy with fluff on his upper lip and a leer on his face [oh, you noticed that I don't like whatever i've read of him. Incidently its that image that prevents me from reading 'A Train to Pakistan' where I am told he's done some excellent story telling]) but I was still left with a feeling that some of the stories in the movies could be replaced by stories from this book.

But all in all a laudable effort by the producers. Its so nice to see people trying different genres and techniques. Thank God for the multiplex revolution, we're getting to see some interesting cinema.

PS: I'm writing this post on the verge of ending my vacation in Delhi and leaving for Bangalore early tomorrow morning. I'm writing this because I tend to get irritable and clammy when I'm about to leave Delhi. At such times I try to be out of my familys way as I get too short with them. Hence, this is a straight forward and solemn post with no efforts at humour. Trust me, it would fail miserably today.


raindrops said...

Interesting concept of short stories with no attempts to forcibly link them at the end!! Definitely the genre of short stories could have been widened.Personally liked gubbare story and one with shabana azmi, the rice plate story......

Swapnil said...

Gubbare was very poignant, but rice plate I thought was too cliched and predictable.

I liked Zahir and Rise & Fall in addition to Gubbare

bhumika said...

i've always preferred short stories over novels...good to see that the concept has entered the mainstream cinema now...will try to watch the movie in the coming week