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An Anthology of Men

average rating is 3 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 16, 2024

Film Reviews
An Anthology of Men
Directed by:
Aranyak Chakrabarty
Written by:
Aranyak Chakrabarty
Siddhartha Barman, Meher Ali, Amisha Rai, Arun Thapa

A unique exploration of life and its complications.


This hour-long film from India is surreal and seems to leave many things open to interpretation.


The feature is separated into five chapters, each with its own title: Naivety, Finesse, Futility, Distant Echoes, Rebel. The structure is basically five stories that alternate between a car journey. It begins with a man walking in the countryside and entering a vehicle, driving away. Then, after a while, he stops and picks up a guy who is apparently waiting for him in the middle of a forest. The film then moves to the first chapter and when that ends, it goes back to the car moving on a road in the wilderness and picking up another person.


As mentioned this feature is surreal. There is no dialogue, not even when characters are apparently communicating with each other. During the sequences with the car, every person who is waiting for the car is standing in the middle of the road, smiling and they carry on grinning as they are in the vehicle, never speaking. Going to the chapters now, the stories, they are surreal and certainly have some awkward moments. Again, there is no speech and they all move at a slow pace, with many long takes of characters doing a variety of actions. Regarding the strange scenes, one involves a man being fond of women's underwear, another a man entering someone else's home and playing with a duck, while another has a cockroach in a toilet.


Looking at the stories from a different perspective now. What are the messages that they are carrying? According to a text on FilmFreeway, this film aims to explore nihilism and destiny. How this feature looks into these two concepts might depend on the viewer due to the surreal and unclear ways that things are presented. One example might be the story that includes killing of a duck, indicating that some people are animal lovers while others are not. Another might be the cockroach in the toilet, which might suggest that some people are no better than that. Generally, the film contains bad elements, be it animal cruelty, threats and it also touches on cancer. That might be a way that it deals with nihilism. Regarding destiny, how the film looks into this idea might be harder to acknowledge.


Chakrabarty does a great job with the directing and creates many wonderful shots of nature that add value to the viewing experience, as does the emotional music by himself and Bikram Seal that includes piano melodies. As mentioned, there is are no spoken words, however, there is voice-over at the beginning and end of the feature by Dibakar Mukherjee, talking about life and fate.


This was intended to be an anthology regarding destiny and nihilism. Does it accomplish that? That probably depends on the viewer's perspective. It is a quiet, slow-moving, surreal journey that will most likely be appreciated predominantly by those who understand and value the art of filmmaking the most.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Indie Feature Film, World Cinema
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