Adheen ★★★½

Family tension, challenges with past, issues in present and a possible future – how does this family copes with all?


Adheen is a story of differences in a family. The short story unravels the challenges the characters faced in the past and their stances. Well ,they generally stay apart and they rarely meet with each other. This time they have come together because they got to know about failing health of their dad. I will rather stop here, because everything else about the story should be learnt when you watch the film.

What works

Adheen has yet another great piece of work from actor Sanjay Mishra. He is the central character of the story and does a magnificent job at being the character. Neeraj and Anupriya also have done well in their respective roles.

The better part of Adheen is the story. The story is a almost a thriller, with an interesting ending. I am almost feeling sorry here as I cannot drop any hints at all about this short film. However, I can tell you this much that the characters are not what they sound in the first one or two minutes. As they talk, you will see that characters run deeper when they share glimpses of the past.

Last, I liked the song that plays in the past. Coincidentally, the song is performed by Neeraj who has also played the role of the son.

I also liked dialogues and the setup – the room where the movie is shot is done very well. Small details like Sanjay mixing Tang (or Rasna) are captured well.

What could have been better

While Adhheen is a good short film, it has its own flaws. One, the characters are too atypical. One or two would be alright, but all the four (yes, there are four characters) characters deviate from the society’s normality. In the same family, this was a little too much for me, and makes me wonder if this was done just to spicy things up!


Overall, Adheen is a perfectly watchable short film. It is pretty good , in fact. It is just that it does not cut the list of the bests. Also, while we loved the ending, not everyone may like it.

AglaPlay Verdict: Worth A Watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~19 minutes
Writer-Director:  Yash Verma
Cast: Sanjay Mishra,
Neeraj Purohit & 
Anupriya Goenka
Adheen: Short film on familial tensions

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Ahalya ★★★★½

A short film filled with suspense and seduction, with a twist to mythological tale of Ahalya.

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)&
Ahalya: A Modern Retelling

The Guest ★★★

A thriller that tells story of a young man asking help from an old lady on a dark lonely night…

The protagonist’s car breaks down in midst of the mountains. The poor guy walks miles to find a town or a mechanic but to no avail. Finally he knocks at a house and the landlady answers.

The camera work is good. Note that I can be biased here. I always like seeing the mountains. I am an avid trekker (till before Covid-19 hit). Valleys with small village houses and greenery around soothes me. It is something with the greenery of the plants, or the vastness of open space, and the smell of fresh air of the mountains or even hills which have this magical effect on me. Many of us, including me have to stay in the cities for earning our bread, but it is always like mountains calling out to me. Here, I will also praise the genuineness in simplicity of the portrayal of a small town home with an outhouse changed to godown – the single flickering bulb, the simple bed with mattress. The simplicity is the beauty of camerawork here.

To really enjoy the short film to its fullest, I will request you to put your feet in the protagonist’s shoes. Imagine that your car has broken down and you are stuck in the situation with no shops or person around. What will you do? How will you manage? The climax will hit you and it will hit you hard if you follow this small advice of ours!

Negative is that there is nothing in the movie. The landlady herself appears after more than half of the movie is passed. The movie could have been half its size, may be, and still would have delivered similar impact.

However, it is a must watch for the end. As you know from above, you can skip first half of the movie without any impact on your experience!

AglaPlay Verdict: A must watch for its end
AglaPlay Rating: 3.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~8 minutes
Writer:  Parveez Sheikh 
Director: Ayappa K. M.
Cast: Avinash Tiwari (Stranger),
Davinder Madan (Landlady) & 
The Guest: Mediocre short with great ending

Bin Bulaaye ★★½

Award winning short about a daughter longing for her father amidst the challenges that life throws at her.

The short film is about a young girl who is living in the house of her father. Her father, seemingly a poet, is no more but his memories remain through his words and more. The house is visited by a cook and, the unannounced guests who keep coming over to the place. The story is told through interactions of these characters and the poetic words, which are narrated by Naseeruddin Shah.

Let me spill out one spoiler now itself. Naseeruddin Shah is only present as the voice-over. Sorry, but as you will see, it was not really a spoiler. The narration of Naseerudin Shah is very soothing and done well. I have seen him performing without mics. Mr Shah moves the audience merely with the oratory skills, the acting comes second.

Pardon me, I deviated. Coming to movie at hand, the best part is its simplicity. There is nothing complex about the inter-relations or the treatment. No scene has been exaggerated or overloaded with heavy musics and paraphernalia. It is a simple life, flowing as it does with its own crests and troughs. That actually also becomes its negative, though. Please read on.

The film is too simplistic with nothing much to offer to the audience. The end seems out of place from the rest of the story. The short film was awarded by MAMI awards 2019 (Mumbai Academy of Moving Images) which may be because of the effect of the star-cast. But I will be able to comment on that only after watching other nominations.

Overall, it is nothing great and you may skip this one.

AglaPlay Verdict: Average
AglaPlay Rating: 2.5/5
Language: Hindi/English
Duration: ~19 minutes
Writer: Debasmita Dasgupta, 
Anshul Tiwari (based on short story
written by Madhumita Dasgupta)
Director:  Anshul Tiwari
Cast: Ira Dubey (protagonist),
Jhuma Biswas (maid),
Arfi Lamba,
Dilshad Patel &
Naseerudin Shah (Voice over / Poet-Father)

Watch now!