Exchange Offer ★★★★

A retired school principal accepts an exchange offer of his old personal computer, bringing several other changes as well.


Shiv Kumar Pant is a retired school principal living a lonely life in Delhi. He has lost his wife, while the son lives in California. Shiv is a loner by design, and he rebuffs any attempt of socialization. Consequently, he has very little contact with his relatives except his son. Moreover, Shiv is unappreciative of any changes in life!

However, destiny has other plans! One fine day, Shiv’s 16-year old computer breaks down. During these sixteen long years, technologies have changed a lot and the repair is not possible. As a result, Shiv agrees for the replacement with a newer computer. Only if he knew what other changes will this single exchange will bring…

What works

The character development of the central character is among the best we have seen in recent times. The director has not rushed through scenes. Ample time and space is given to the character of Shiv Kumar Pant to grow. Every feature of the character is brought out delicately. We connected with Raina as Shiv as a strict disciplinarian, a lonely widower and a hobbyist.

Even the non-central characters of son and house-help are developed well. We get to know about Bisveswar by his comic ranting. Facial expressions of Aryan in role of helpless son deserve an appreciation.

Story is very well-thought, accompanied by a very effective screenplay and editing. The film picks up finer facets in the lives of the characters and deliver them very beautifully, one at a time. All the messages, including the central message which is displayed at the end of the short film is delivered at a perfect pace.

What could have been better

Call me a fault-finder, but ‘Amit’ feels schemed and artificial in many scenes. It may be director’s hint to the climax, but we feel otherwise. In our opinion, Taher could have done a much better ‘Amit’.

Another minor drawback is the last scene of the film. Except for the climatic end, the whole movie is very realistic. A simple climax would have seemed logically and aesthetically ordered. Instead we get a larger-than-life climax focusing on just two characters. That was out-of-sync to us.


Exchange Offer is almost a masterpiece. Even with its few passable nuisances, it is a very good short.

AglaPlay Verdict: Do watch!
AglaPlay Rating: 4.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~29 minutes
Writer: Saunak Mitra
Director:  Saunak Mitra
Cast: M K Raina (Shiv Pant),
Taher Shabbir (Amit Kulkarni),
Surendra Ranjan (Bisveswar),
Aryan Roy(Rishabh Pant) &
Exchange Offer: A very good one

The Job ★

A French girl is under pressure to retain her job in India, while suffering from psychological disorders.


The protagonist is a French national. She is working as an expat in India. She has troubles differentiating between reality and illusion, leading her to wash her hands repeatedly and other non-normal activities. The Job is titled so to reflect her pressure to continue working and somehow manage to keep her current employment.

What works

The name of Kalki Koechin. If she was not there in the movie, I might not have even opened the link, and would have closed it in 2 minutes tops.

What doesn’t work

Nothing works in this short film. Quite likely, the viewer would be in suspense what the film wanted to say even after completing the film. On the positive side, though, I wonder that the emotion would be shared with the production team…

One of the you tube commenters (possibly one from the movie production team itself) has tried to provide of the short-film has tried answering the query but that still leaves a lot of loop-holes open.

Many a time super-hit Bollywood blockbusters also have such issues of failures and unbelievable plots. For example, Shahkrukh’s character in Chennai Express was a rich businessman’s grandson and had never been to Goa. Later, he decides to risk his grandpa’s ashes for a Goa trip with friends! Seriously, Goa trip for a Mumbaikar? Just to put the character in train?

However, Chnnai Express was at least enjoyable and entertaining. On the other hand,The Job is neither.

Even at acting level, it is a straight face Kalki maintains in the whole short. May be a little here and there, but the above featured image on this review is what you will see from Kali in the whole movie. That is her working face, her talking to boss face, her murdering face, her hand-washing face – everything. It is there!

I can take flights of fantasy and can still justify the story, but I still won’t be able to turn it entertaining for any of the audiences or readers, hence…


Please avoid and save 13-14 minutes of your life!

AglaPlay Verdict: AVOID
AglaPlay Rating: 1.0/5
Language: English/French
Duration: ~13 minutes
Writer: Siddharth Sinha
Director:  Siddharth Sinha
Cast: Kalki Koechin
The Job: Avoid and save 13 minutes of your lives

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Special Day ★★★

A mother’s gift to her son on his birthday is worth much more that it looks to be.


The short film about mother-son relation of Ved and his mother. It is Ved’s birthday today. Certainly this is going to be a great day! Not only his friends have planned a surprise but his mother has bought a small special gift for him.

The short film explores the emotions behind this small gift. While these emotions are certainly not small, would Dev figure them out? Spoiler: he does – not really a spoiler there :), but do watch to figure out why and how was the gift valuable!

What works

The raw charm of a simple, uncomplicated story-telling works for Special Day. Sheeba-Shantanu duo portrays the Mother-son relationship elegantly. The emotions flow through the film as choreographed to a perfection. Many a stories fall into trap of being too emotional. Many a times, they also delve too much into the sacrifices. Very often, relationships are pictured as a combination of burden and sacrifices. It is so entrenched in Indian culture that the natural love takes a backseat.

Special Day reminds us that the beauty of a relationship or care for someone else. Such care can often be totally insignificant to a third person. Malti’s gift to Ved is something money can buy and she can definitely afford it. At least, that is what his friends can judge the gift to be! But Ved knows better and acts on it leading to one of the cutest endings in a short film.

The short film does well on other technical prospects, too. Cinematography, music, lighting, and setup are all done well. Screenplay and dialogues are also done well.

What could have been better

The scene where Ved meets is with his friends in the car (it happens around 5:50 in the movie). Ved’s friends behave in a much too animated and unrealistic manner. That whole scene is a bit let down from the amazing central story. Although I can provide a list of problems with this scene, that scene is anyway very small turbulence in this otherwise cozy flight.


A good short film worth a watch!

AglaPlay Verdict: Worth a watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~10 minutes
Writer: Prativa Archana Rathi
Director:  Ajay Shivan
Cast: Sheeba Chadda,
Shantanu Maheshwari &
Special Day: Sweet short on Mother-Son bonding

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Station Master Phool Kumar ★★★

Phool Kumar is frustrated when he is transferred from busy station Gorakhpur to a small town Kesupur.


Station Master Phool Kumar is the story of Phool Kumar. Phool Kumar was a star performer in his earlier role as signal operator at busy Gorakhpur Junction. As recognition of his performance, he is promoted to the post of station master of small station Kesupur. There is hardly any work here for a station master with only 2 daily trains. Phool Kumar gets bored, he starts acting weirdly. As a result, both his colleagues start worrying about him… This is all until someone catches his attention. Who is she? Does the story has a happy ending?

What works

The story is not about Phool Kumar alone. The story is of so many young migrants around the world who leave their hometown, their friends and families for a career progression. It is the hence, the story of the their loneliness in the foreign land.

The short film is also the story of the mismatches between promotional aspirations and reality. Phool Kumar shows extreme adverse post-promotion effect when the promoted misses his actions are previous lower role. Lastly, this is also the story of a young guy who meets a beautiful girl. Depicting all these seemingly complex and deeper contexts coherently in 12-minute short film is where it shines.

Namit Das and Rajkumar act extremely well. But then, we cannot expect anything short of perfection from them anyway! Annsh also brings out the innocence in her character.

Another delightful part is the whole setup of small railway station, which is designed very realistically. In fact, I almost mistook it for a real railway station until I checked it to be Panvel’s film studio. Papon has lent his voice for the song ‘Dhokadhari’ which is pleasant on ears.

What could have been better

The focus of the story completely moves to a boy-girl story after Phool spots Asha. Now, we may be acting pedantic here, but this is something that we didn’t like much. Apart from that, no deal breakers.


Not great, but deserves a watch.

AglaPlay Verdict: Deserves a watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~12 minutes
Writer: Ambar Chakravarty
Director:  Ambar Chakravarty
Cast: Namit Das (Phool Kumar),
Rajkumar Kanojia (Cleaner) &
Anssh Shekhawat (Asha)
Station Master Phool Kumar: Worth a watch!

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Ghar Ki Murgi ★★★½

Seema feels stuck in the thankless ever-ending job of being a housewife… Until she takes a decision…

Synopsis: Seema is a salon owner and homemaker. She manages the home and family most deftly, but her family couldn’t care less. She feels taken for granted, stuck in the thankless ever-ending job of being a housewife… Until one day when she takes a decision which will leave the family in shock. After all these years, what is the decision that made her family recognize her contributions?

What works: The genuineness of the whole setup of the family is depicted very skillfully. The characters are relatable and even at the peak of the selfishness, far from evil. This is so like the normal lives. In our normal lives we hear someone cribbing about a family member or a colleague and on hearing this one-sided story, we may judge the other person to be evil. Many a time, they are not. Many a times, it is the fault of the victim of the situation to speak up his/her expectations. Others cannot guess it! Others may not be evil, and mostly they are not.

The acting by everyone is very good. Such stories centralized on one character engage only the protagonist, and that has happened this time as well. Luckily for us, it was Sakshi Tanwar who shoulders this responsibility with such ease and poise. Other actors however, make their impact whenever they are in the focus. I would like to see these actors more in the coming short films.

The setup of the house is also commendable here and like Juice, the real aroma of the short film flows from the narrow streets, the open terrace and the cramped house as much as through the actors and dialogues.

Last but not the least, in the last parts, there will be a scene involving some calculations. That scene is just amazing! Thanks, Sony. Thanks, Ashwiny!

What could have been better: Ghar ki Murgi is not enjoyable. Period. It is a good short on all angels, as I have blabbered above, but it falls short on the entertainment quotient. Somewhere and somehow, it missed to bring out the impact of the decision Seema makes. End is also not that great in my opinion. The story flows very well, but that engagement with audience is somehow missing. May be, it is because the short film tends to capture too much in too less a time of 17 minutes. Children, in-laws, husband, homework, medicines, cooking, salon-work, milk-man, party-hosting – all of the angels are presented in merely 17 minutes along with the twist and post-twist story, its implications and well, there is also a neighbor chit-chat! I wonder if the short would be a lot more impactful if it focused on any one factor or at most a few and then saw it through. Please note – we are critics and the opinions are always subjective. The film is actually good and please judge it for yourself!

Verdict: Overall, a very good attempt at presenting a homemaker’s life. On parental guidance, we will in fact recommend it to be shown to children who can be more thankful for the tasks they may otherwise take for granted.

AglaPlay Verdict: Please do watch with your family!
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~17 minutes
Writer: Nitesh Tiwari
Director:  Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Cast: Sakshi Tanwar,
Anurag Arora, Mahi Burman,
Kabir Khanna &