Ipsit Nair (Ali Fazal), the entrepreneur who never forgets, Musafir Ali (Manoj Bajpayee) the poet grappling with time, an actor (Harshvardhan Kapoor) who is confronted by the inadequacy of his talent and fame, and a behrupiya (Kay Kay Menon) or an impressionist in Kolkata — four separate characters explore the nuances of success and betrayal, love and lust.
Based on short stories written by Satyajit Ray, the films explore the themes with an aesthetic that is strikingly modern — the trademark Netflix colour correction of holding back some colours to exacerbate others, the 1080p digital clarity, the expensive top shots, the dramatic swelling score. There is little here to suggest the aesthetic imprint of Ray. Perhaps, sequences of elevated reality, like the mountains of cash in Nayak, is given a twist, but now with Musafir Ali the poet sitting on a big clock, musing time.
The films star Manoj Bajpayee, Gajraj Rao, Ali Fazal, Shweta Basu Prasad, Anindita Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Bidita Bag, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Radhika Madan, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor. Niren Bhatt and Siraj Ahmed have adapted the stories for the screen with Sayantan Mukherjee as showrunner.
The anthology of four films directed byAbhishek Chaubey, Srijit Mukherji (who directed two of the films) and Vasan Bala, premieres on Netflix on June 25