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 &


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

Devi ★★★½

A short film with a strong social message with the high-profile actors ensemble.

Synopsis: The short film opens with women from various backgrounds who are confined in a room. It has representations from different classes – an upper-class chic , corporate executive in 30s, medical student, trio of middle-aged and older marathi women, young deaf-mute poor girl, a muslim burka-clad, and of course, the ubiquitous house-wife. What’s the catch? What is it that they share in common? The suspense will be revealed in the first few minutes itself but I would rather not spoil for you.

What works: This high-profile short film has a social message with an impactful climax. The climax is deeply unsettling. The performances from Neena Kulkarni and Yashaswini are particularly lively. Others also perform well. Doing justice to the assigned roles in such short duration was an amazing feat and I can’t point out any lapse from anyone in the cast. Kudos to the director and the whole team.

Also, kudos to Kajol. Having the big star in the short film is two-edged sword. The positive, it gives you an immediate publicity. The negative which happens quite often, is that the star hogs all the screen presence. Kajol in Devi, on the other hand shines not through her stardom but through her acting skills. More than the words and the star as we know her, her eyes reflect the sadness, the voice tone shows frustration at a level which is far ahead than any. Please watch and let us know of what you feel about the actors!

I highly appreciate the dialogue writing which helps such film take up such strong message without using any sensitive or abusive language. Everything in the dialogue is implicit. Enraging and saddening, but without explicit. Great work there!

Negatives: Now is the time to write negatives. Nothing major, but as I have hinted above as well, is the failure of the story to maintain the aura of suspense. In particular, there is a TV anchor who speaks in the first few scenes itself and we believe that was not necessary and gave out too much about story too early. It would be a very different feeling if the crux came out through the characters and their dialogues. Another minor thing is the soap-opera feel of the setup – it pops out as a Balaji production setup in the first look. 🙂

Overall: a good watch and I will recommend it to be watched by everyone. Men, women alike. The topic can be sensitive to young audience, but everything is implicit and hardly any abusive or sensitive words are used, so may be a PG (Parental Guidance) rating here?

AglaPlay Verdict: Worth a watch
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: 12 minutes
Writer: Priyanka Banerjee
Director:  Priyanka Banerjee
Cast: Kajol (house wife), 
Shruti Hassan(chic),
Neha Dhupia (Corporate), 
Shivani Raghuvanshi (Medical Student), 
Neena Kulkarni, Rama Joshi, 
Sandhya Mhatre (three marathi women), 
Yashaswini Dayama (deaf-mute), 
Mukta Barve (Burka-clad muslim) &

Laugh ★★★★

Short film contrasts three friends spending evening together in pre-mobile and current times, and tries to explore the real meaning of laugh.

Synopsis: Enacted by the best of the actors – Sanjai Mishra, Sheeba Chadda, Vrijesh Hirje & Brijendra Kala – the short movie highlights the contrast of pre-mobile days with today. It shows what the laugh should be. The trio of friendly neighbors are enjoying an evening together in 1967 and then the scene jumps to communication among same friends in 2016.

What works: The boorishness of the film actually works. The unmannerly conversations of three friends without any concerns whatsoever towards the sophistication is tear-jerking! The film is a must watch for a laugh and a reminiscence of older days.

The dialogues are also uncomplicated but are charming to the core. In the first few scenes itself, the play of words by Vrijesh with Sheeba will tickle you. There is also a joke which is central to the short film’s narrative. Please don’t expect much from it… It is just raw, lewd and disgusting, but still that joke and this whole film carries itself with such aplomb.

Parental Advice for Young Audience: Some parts of the movie are lewd and inappropriate for younger audience. Besides, the film might be irrelevant or ‘period’ for anyone who grew up in Whatsapp generation.

AglaPlay Verdict: A must watch, few pieces are inappropriate for younger audience
AglaPlay Rating: 4.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~8 minutes
Writer: Akshay Choubey
Director:  Akshay Choubey
Cast: Sanjai Mishra, 
Sheeba Chadda, 
Vrijesh Hirje,
Brijendra Kala &
Lateesha Dorik

Radhesham Lodge ★★★

A short film on a peddler who does some suspicious business in broad daylight. Will he get caught?

There is a peddler who seemingly sells some illegal stuff on the road. He has regular customers and seems to be doing pretty well. Old and new both customers are pretty well aware of his location outside Radhesham lodge where he does his business in broad daylight.

The short film stands out on all technical aspects – the direction, cinematography, VFX, the music – are all done very well. The lead Ranjan Raj brings the character to life. The film should be watched for the freshness itself if not for anything else!

AglaPlay recommends to watch the film once for its freshness and the performance by the lead.

AglaPlay Verdict: A short social comic movie
AglaPlay Rating: 3.0/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: 10 minutes
Writer: Pulkit Goyal and Others
Director:  Pulkit Goyal
Cast: Ranjan Raj(Peddler),
Dhananjay Uppalwad,
Abhigyan Joshi,
& Others