As the year draws to a close, we would remain grateful to OTT platforms for springing so many surprises, including regional and independent cinema. Debutant Fahim Irshad’s AANI MAANI (2019) is one such gem that gathers the courage to look into the impact of beef ban in UP on a middle-class family that runs a kebab shop in a small town. Maybe it needed a little more baking at the script level, but its heart is just at the right place. It scores heavily on its cinematography, the empathetic treatment of its characters, stellar performances, and the authenticity that is built up through small details, especially the moments that constitute the love story at its core.
This brave little film is playing on MUBI.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.