Juice ★★★★★

Winner of two Filmfare awards 2018, Juice is a poignant short film that depicts differential treatment of women in some sections of the society.

Synopsis: The short film depicts a house party among family-friends. The men are chatting and having a good time in the living room with drinks and TV,. The children are playing video games in a different room. All the women, though, are in the kitchen cooking the munchies for the gentlemen outside. These women are from different regions as it shows in the film, but share the common destiny of a single broken table fan in a boiling kitchen. What’s all this to have to do with the title, you ask? A juice? A lot, perhaps…

What works: The film is a must watch, it is really that good. The lead, Shefali Shah also walked away with the best actress award for her performance. Every scene and setup is very authentic. The whole film looks like a scene out of daily life in a Delhi house. If we talk about awards alone, this film won the best short film award in the fiction category in Filmfare awards 2018. And the whole good package ends at even better climax scene with one of the most intriguing facial expressions that I will remember for quite some time.

The dialogues and the screenplay is something which shall be appreciated separately, even if these could not get awarded. This is an overall feminist presentation, and these go over-board with the dramatization and cliches. Juice balances it deftly. It also hints how women themselves think lesser of themselves. It hints how biases are also fueled and supported by submissiveness among women’s social circle.

What is bad: Nothing at all that I could comment on this specific film!

Small note: not particular to feminism or Juice but generally, few presentations (videos, speeches or Whatsapp forwards) charge us emotionally. They color our views. They make us believe (even if for a short period) that everyone on the other side is wrong. That is their job. That is how they will earn and will get viral. Aglaplay strongly advises its viewers to keep themselves free from such emotional on the basis of religion, gender, region, caste, nationality, language, dressing, earning or anything else under the blue sky. Judge a person for who he or she individually is. For Juice, do remember while watching that not all men are alike! There are men at workplaces, in family, in friends who support women and stand for their equality in the society.

Overall: Enjoy Juice, it is a must watch!

AglaPlay Verdict: Must watch
AglaPlay Rating: 5.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~14 minutes
Writer: Neeraj Ghaywan
Director:  Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Shefali Shah(Manju Singh), 
Manish P Chaudhari(Brajesh Singh) &
Juice: Relaxation for a moment

Baatein ★★½

Filmfare nominated short film which tries to deliver a social message.

Synopsis: A young guy (Jeet) visits his friend’s mother (Mrs Deshpande). The two spend the day together accompanied by Mrs Deshpande’s niece, Tulika. They meet once again when Mrs Deshpande and Tulika visit Jeet at his home. The conversations among them and a cut-scene uncovers the sad past of their lives. Some of the talks is unsettling and uncomfortable to the participants. What is that past? Do these conversations help Jeet and Mrs Deshpande to look forward to the future?

What works: Portrayal of Mrs Deshpande by Supriya ji is very good. I remember her from hit TV series Tu Tu Main Main days and she has been an amazing actress in all her roles – so believable, so genuine. Baatein is no exception. The cinematography and music are good. There is also a social message which the film tries to deliver, so thumbs up to Adeeb.

Negatives: Sadly, the acting of the other actors – Adeeb and Sankalp – is simply not engaging. I mean, it is not that they are bad. It is just that I did not felt involved in the roles, neither I felt sympathy for the characters they portrayed. Shivani in the role of Tulika fits well, but there is not much for her to do in the story line. The story would have moved on without her being the third (or fourth) wheel. The impact that such a story should have on the viewers is missing. That spark, that raw connect one needs to create with viewers is amiss in this presentation.

Overall: It is a very average short film in my opinion.
Is there anything bad or unwatchable in it? No.
Should you spend 20 minutes to watch this? Ehh.. May be not. There are better films out there.

But don’t take my opinion alone. It was nominated for Filmfare awards, after all! Watch and let us know of YOUR opinion!

AglaPlay Verdict: A very average short film with a social message
AglaPlay Rating: 2.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~20 minutes
Writer: Adeeb Rais
Director:  Adeeb Rais
Cast: Supriya Pilgaonkar (Mrs Deshpande),
Adeeb Rais (Jeet),
Sankalp Joshi (Nishant) &
Shivani Raghuvanshi (Tulika)
Baatein: Mediocre at best

Khamakha ★★★★½

Winner of Filmfare Award 2017, this short film tells story of an encounter of a suave guy and a remarkable girl in a state transport bus.

Synopsis: Winner of Filmfare award in 2017, the film is about a sophisticated guy who has to travel on state bus. There is a girl on the adjacent row, who is reading a Hindi novel. The differences become more prominent as they converse with each other.

What works: Winning Filmfare award itself speaks loads, so I won’t be talking about the performances or the direction. What stands out in this film is the dialogue. The prattle between the two strangers who have very different outlooks is written well and performed better by the leads. Then they are also occupied with judgemental opinions about the other. The direction has excelled in bringing out these subtleties.

The music – the song ‘Khamakha: The Song‘ is soothing to ears and I listened it separately after completing the film. We needed such song after listening to Masakali 2.0 for 30 seconds! 😉

Negative: Nothing, well… there is nothing special about the film or, the journey whose story is depicted in the film. AglaPlay believes that this is what makes it special.

Verdict: The viewers would enjoy every movement of the film and it is so soothing!

AglaPlay Verdict: A soothing, sweet short film, must watch!
AglaPlay Rating: 4.5/5
Language: Hindi/English
Duration: ~17 minutes
Writer: Aarti Bagdi
Director:  Aarti Bagdi
Cast: Manjari Fadnnis, 
Harshvardhan Rane 
& Others
Khamkha: a trip which will refresh you