Karan Johar's ajeeb daastaan hai yeh appealed to me more than all other stories. A man struggling with his sexuality was depicted extremely well by Avinash (Saqib Saleem). A few scenes (the gay kiss) along with some corny dialogues may have been off-putting for some but this was by far Bollywood's best portrayal of a subject this bold. Surprisingly! I say that because
you'd least expect it of a director better known for his star-studded, flashy, mass appealing films. This one's subtle, succinct and hits the right note.
Next up is Dibakar Bannerji's story of a small-time struggler. "Struggling actor" has caught on to become the most cliched term in the industry today. But Dibakar's story-telling of this struggler is anything but cliched. Witty dialogues and Nawazzudin's yet another brilliant act (watch out for him in the climax), makes it watchable.
Zoya Akhtar's story is about a boy Vicky (Naman Jain) confused about his gender identity. Sports is not his thing. He loves to dress up like girls, do the things girls do. The 12-year old, by the way, is a powerhouse of talent. The story, but, felt not quite there. I understand the boy's confusion about his sexuality. I couldn't relate to the father abstaining his son from picking up feminine ways coming in the way of his son's dreams. Botched up? (We can disagree :)
Anurag Kashyap's murabba story about an ailing father's last wish, was the least impactful. Despite it being a story of many star-crazed fans like us, I could barely connect with it. Overall, my experience of the last 2 films was 'underwhelming.' They may have been deftly narrated, but weren't quite rich in content and engaging in themselves.