Expecting the expected is boring: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari on ‘Ankahi Kahaniya’


Mumbai: Filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari says she is constantly trying to challenge herself as a storyteller and that’s why she decided to look beyond formulaic romantic stories in her segment for Netflix’s anthology film “Ankahi Kahaniya”.

The director’s part offers a unique perspective on love and loneliness by showing a man’s complicated relationship with a mannequin.

My idea with each story is to challenge myself. If you just say the expected, then I don’t think I am evolving as a storyteller. Expecting the expected is boring, expecting the unexpected is surprising, and at the same time, curiosity, and happiness is there, the 41-year-old director, known for films such as Nil Battey Sannata , Bareilly Ki Barfi and Panga , told PTI in a zoom interview.

The three-part anthology explores how some lonely souls are discovering surprise sources of connection and companionship in big cities.

Iyer Tiwari said when the producers Ronnie screwvala, Ashi Dua and the streamer offered her the anthology, centering around the theme of love, she wanted to explore a different take on the emotion.

The one-line thought came from writer Piyush Gupta, Iyer Tiwari said, adding that she enjoyed collaborating with casting director-turned-actor Abhishek Banerjee on his character, Paradeep, a garment salesman, who finds a companion in a mannequin at the shop where he works.

It did feel that it was important to look inward and understand the idea of love… Like, the circumstances, environment he stays in, it just felt that it was right to tell a story like that.

Every person likes solitude to certain levels, but there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. No one likes to be lonely, and not spoken about or spoken to, she said.

The short film blurs the lines between reality and fantasy and the Panga director said that was intentional.

“I am taking the viewers into the real and unreal world. Filmmaking is three dimensional one is what the filmmaker makes, the other one is the character’s point of view and the third one is what the audience is going to take away from the world, she said.

Talking about the treatment of love’ in the field of performing arts, Iyer Tiwari, who recently wrote her debut novel ‘Mapping Love’, said the concept is always evolving.

One can never get bored of love stories in any form: books, films, etc. Love stories from centuries will always exist but will change according to eras. Like, during a pre-colonial era, the meaning of love would be very different, like more of separation and coming together. Then as you move on, love has a very different meaning (today) love is in the form of technology or internet dating, etc, she said, adding her all-time favourite love story is Abhimaan , Silsila , Lamhe .

The other two parts in Ankahi Kahaniya are helmed by filmmakers Abhishek Chaubey and Saket Chaudhary. It stars Zoya Hussain, Kunal Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi, Palomi, Rinku Rajguru and Delzad Hiwale.

The anthology, produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Ashi Dua Sara, will release on September 17 on Netflix.

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