Ajeeb Daastaans review – four riveting short films on fractured relationships

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 16, 2021 (Last updated: December 2, 2023)
Netflix feature Ajeeb Dastaans - four short films


This Netflix feature appreciates the failings of human relationships.

This review of Netflix feature Ajeeb Daastaans contains no spoilers — the 2-hour feature, which brings four short films, was released on the streaming service on April 16, 2021.

The Netflix Indian market appears to have strength in short films — only recently we were treated to Pitta Kathalu. Ironically, Netflix feature Ajeeb Daastaans has similar themes of love and betrayal. If you are searching for the realities of human connections, then this will certainly stimulate the mind.

Ajeeb Daastaans spans two hours and twenty minutes, encapsulating four short films that analyse characters suffering from fractured relationships — it delves in deep, like a sharp knife, into each case study, observing the uncomfortable emotions that arise in these awful environments.

To give a flavour of the opening short — Majnu — it follows a marriage that is “union by design”, rather than love, with the husband not expecting his wife to cheat while he can do whatever he pleases. It’s a typical arranged marriage story that coats itself in mystery, as the wife tries to gain power over her urge for a human connection and physical passion.

Each story uniquely escalates the scenario; each crack widens, and the problem surfaces, unable to be hidden away. Netflix’s Ajeeb Daastaans understands the core of a toxic relationship — it understands entitlement, jealousy and the emptiness a relationship can bring. We often idolise relationships as a beautiful production of the human race, but there’s plenty wrong with how we love each other. Only the right relationships understand the true meaning of love and support.

While Ajeeb Daastaans would have benefited from splitting out each short film for the viewer’s convenience, each segment passes by quickly — there’s nothing short of the dramatics — each story is as engaging as it can be as the narrative slowly sets on fire. Each director seems to have a knack for assigning the right cast as well, with none of the characters feeling out of place — a common problem that can occur in short films.

On a fairly quiet weekend for streaming, Ajeeb Daastaans could be the surprise hit for Netflix thumbnails. This Netflix feature appreciates the failings of human relationships.

READ: The Shepherd Review – A superb short film worthy of awards

Movie Reviews, Netflix