Half Full ★★★½

Abhay is anxiously waiting for something when a stranger knocks at his door on a rainy night.

The short film starts with a stranger knocking on protagonist (Abhay) door. The stranger’s car has broken down amidst the heavy rains. Abhay, meanwhile, was desperately waiting for something to happen and was repeatedly looking at the wall clock before this stranger comes. The two end up discussing the things which are bothering Abhay. The short ends has a shocking revelation about the stranger.

First of all, the acting is very good. Especially from Vikrant Massey (Chhapak fame). He has performed extremely well, and holds his own in presence of the legend Naseerudin Shah.

Then comes the direction. The audience connect to Abhay and his feelings, without any specifics provided at all. We personally like the short films which talk of hardships and challenges that people face everyday. Abhay is also stuck, like so many of us. His so few words reflect the feelings of so many. Director Karan has taken few artistic liberties to dramatize the situation to the worst, but if you will just pause and see through, you will see conundrums, the hopes and the challenges you and I face everyday. Anyways, let’s move on to the negatives.

First on the negative is that the short is available on Zee5 only. That means paid subscriptions for those who do not have it. We will come with a short article later on availing best offers to get Zee5, but that is for later. The second minor short coming of the movie is the end which may not be liked or accepted by everyone.

Overall, it is a good one and we at Aglaplay recommend a watch!

AglaPlay Verdict: Worth a watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~10 minutes
Writer:  Karan Rawal 
Director: Karan Rawal
Cast: Vikrant Massey (Abhay), 
Naseeruddin Shah (Stranger)

Link: https://www.zee5.com/movies/details/half-full

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!

The Truth

This hilarious, captivating play on extra-marital affairs is originally written by award-winning playwright Florian Zeller. The protagonist, KC, is having an extra-marital affair. He is in habit of lying to (mostly) unsuspecting wife. With little inhibitions, KC authors new lies every second, and then lies more, to support the previous lie. As if the life was not pretty complicated for our hero already, his affair is with his best friend Zed’s wife Lovelin! The play explores the attempts of KC to hide the truth from everyone, and more…

Naseeruddin Shah is an amazing actor. But the perfection with which he embodies KC, is beyond anything I have seen from Mr Shah. He is spontaneous, he is funny and even in the darkest of his acts, audience can’t help but sympathize with the character. Ratna and other characters also are very relatable. The dialogues and the screenplay are crisp.

It is a great fun and one of the most enjoyable plays. The topic is a bit, you know, adult(er)y, hence not recommending it for teens and children, otherwise this is a great play which will be enjoyed by everyone. However, Motley has self-rated it (A), for 18+ years audience only.

AglaPlay Verdict: A must watch with your partner
AglaPlay Rating: 4/5
Language: English
Duration: 1 Hours 30 Minutes 
Writer: Florian Zeller
Director: Ratna Pathak Shah
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah (KC),
Meher Mistry / Shruti Vyas (Lovelin),
Ratna Pathak / Avantiak Akrekar (KC's Wife),
Arghya Lahiri / Gaurav Sharma (Zed)

Below are a few relevant links. This is a popular, great play with many reviews on internet – all positive. But please do not read other online reviews as few of these unknowingly have gone in too much detail on the story-line and may spoil your fun. Do note that even the official trailer for this play mutes the dialogues.

Other Links
Official Trailer
Naseeruddin Shah Wiki
Ratna Pathak Wikipedia

The Father

Originally a French play written by Florian Zeller, The Father explores the challenges of Andre, the central character who is suffering from amnesia. Andre’s nurses repeatedly quit job due to his tantrums. His caring daughter, Ann, then takes Andre to her home where she lives with her husband, Pierre. Told from Andre’s perspective, different scenes flow through the times, jumping in the past and back as Andre remembers and forgets his life events. The play culminates to a shocking end.

The Stage setup is very innovative. The design of an apartment / hospital is marked on the ground with white paper tapes on which the actors perform. The audiences are very close to the performance and sitting is done in 360º view. The sync of the sound of taps etc is done very well. The experience of watching the play in such a setup is a novelty and done very nicely. Naseeruddin shah plays the central character with perfection and such energy that moves the audience. The rest of the cast matches his vigor.

It is a play well-done on all fronts. Strongly recommend for all audience.

AglaPlay Verdict: Strongly recommended for all
AglaPlay Rating: 4/5
Language: English
Duration: 2 Hours 
Writer: Florian Zeller
Director: Naseeruddin Shah
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah (Andre, The Father),
Ratna Pathak Shah, 
Heeba Shah & Others.

Below are a few relevant links.

Other Links
Naseeruddin Shah Wiki
Ratna Pathak Wikipedia