Ahalya ★★★★½

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Synopsis: This short suspense film opens with inspector Sen ringing the doorbell of Mr. Sadhu. The door is opened by sensuousAhalya. The visit pertains to investigation of a missing person Arjun. Arjun was seen with Mr. Sadhu before he went missing. Does Sen solve the mystery of missing Arjun?

What works: Ahalya is a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. Acting by all the actors is very good. The short film excels on direction, sounds, lighting. Radhika Apte looks stunning. I had some challenges with Bengali language but the subtitles are very apt. The editing and the screenplay are flawless and we could not find any scene which felt like excessive or out of place. The whole story runs smooth from one frame to another. The director has managed to weave this tale in a manner which retains sensuality, simplicity and suspense all in one frame.

What is the best: The category where the film stands out is the story. In fact, we have awarded one whole extra star to the review for the story-writing alone! The story has much deeper undertones than what it shows on the surface.

Spoiler Alert: Please read after watching. ShowThe story is actually an alternate rewriting of mythological Ahalya from Ramayana. Ahalya was married to much older renowned saint, Goutam Rishi. She is believed to be the most beautiful dame of the time. Lord Indra of devlok was seduced by the beauty of Ahalya. As the story goes, Indra transfigures into Goutam and involves in sexual intercourse with her. Angered by this, Goutam curses Ahalya to be transformed into stone. This modern day Ahalya shares all the similarities of the older times, but rather than turning into the stone herself for Indra’s fault, transforms ‘Indra’ and other debauchees into stone.

Verdict: A must watch!

AglaPlay Verdict: Must watch
AglaPlay Rating: 4.5/5
Language: Bengali, with English subtitles
Duration: ~13 minutes
Writer: Sujoy Ghosh
Director:  Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Soumitra Chaterjee (Goutam), 
Radhika Apte (Ahalya), 
Tota R Chowdhury (Inspector)&
Others
Ahalya: A Modern Retelling