“What makes Love Storiyaan so desirable is its unwavering mood of love conquers all ” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Love Storiyaan (Amazon Prime, 6 Episodes)

Except for one story in this six-tiered ache cake with no icing, there is nothing unusual about the love stories that are a part of this cuddlesome omnibus.

What makes Love Storiyaan so desirable is its unwavering mood of love conquers all. Aekta and Ullekh in the first story, An Unsuitable Girl, directed by Hardik Mehta are hardly your Romeo and Juliet. She is a 40-plus divorcee with two grownup daughters. He is a patient suitor. And the real story here is between Ullek and Aekta’s younger daughter whom he must win over before marriage happens.

It is this quality of deflected affinity that often takes the seemingly routine relationship to the level close to an epic love story.

In the second story, Love On Air, set in arresting Assam, directed by Vivek Soni (whose voice is the third protagonist from behind the camera) two disc jockeys Rajni and Nick, he an incorrigible womanizer and a fullblown alcoholic, try to get a life together. A third party, a blind woman named Mandira, plays a beautiful part as an unlikely Cupid. This story is actually structured like a feature film, which is quite palatable but unnecessary.

The third story, Homecoming, directed by Shazia Iqbal has Sunit and Farida’s love blossoming during Bangladesh’s war of liberation. We see them as an aging couple in Kolkata still very much in love, he more than she perhaps. He keeps kissing her cheek darting heartmelting glances at her, as she squeals and giggles at age 77. As they plan a trip back to Bangladesh, the ‘epic’ format of storytelling begins to seem somewhat strained at the seams. This story deserved a full-length feature film.

Come to think of it, all the six stories can be comfortably expanded into feature films. Sunit in the above story must only be played by Jackie Shroff.

The fourth story, Raah Sungharsh Ki, directed Akshay Indikar, chronicles the love story of Subhadra and Rahul, two activists fighting for the rights of Adivasis. This is a love-during-the-time-of-turmoil interpretation of the heart and its vagaries. The merger of fiction and fact, with the real characters coalescing comfortably with their fictional counterpart, is achieved smoothly.

I would describe Faasley, directed by Archana Phadke, as the most impossible love story of this eloquent omnibus. Looking at Humayoun and Dhanya romancing marrying and staying together in spite of he being an Afghan and she coming from a conservative Kerala family, it seems love can indeed conquer all.

Finally, Love Beyond Labels, the incredible hard-to-believe love story between a trans-woman Tista and a trans-man Bipin, both of whom have undergone gender correctional surgery and are now blissfully together. This story, sensitively directed by Collin d’Cunha is the best of the scintillating sextet. Not that other stories lack in anything. It’s just the hormonal harmony in Love Beyond Labels is the best possible exemplification of what Gulzar so succinctly once said about love…Haath se choo ke isse rishton ka ilzaam do.

Just celebrate love, don’t try to slot or define it. This is what Love Storiyaan does, most cogently and irresistibly.

Our Rating

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