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

Kriti ★★★½

Manoj Vajpayee and Radhika Apte starrer psychological thriller which keeps audience on edge.

Synopsis: Sapan is schizophrenic. He pays regular visits to her psychiatrist, who is trying to help Sapan both in the capacity of a doctor and a friend. Kriti is Sapan’s live-in partner. She is a mystery to the psychiatrist, and also to Sapan. Kirit has her own psychological disorders, and suffers severely from agoraphobia. The film unfolds the dark secrets and explores morbid twists of psychological issues among the trio.

What works: The film Kriti is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller. The film manages to keep audience on the hook about what would happen next. The short film is also a proof that one doesn’t need full feature length for creating great stories. An experienced and talented star-cast also helps. The performances are good. Manoj Vajpayee particularly has delivered a splendid schizophrenic Sapan. Neha Sharma, Radhika Apte and Manu Rishi all fit the role well.

Negatives: Nothing from the film per se, except that it may be dark and unsettling for those who do not like the genre. Period. However…

One negative for me was the ‘inspiration’ Writer-Director-Prodcuer Sirish Kunder takes from the original Bob without giving due credit to original source material. Seemingly, the film is inspired from Nepalese short film Bob. Sirish has also vocally pretested against these allegations. To be fair, Kriti goes much farther in the story-line and the twists; but I see some merit in the plagiarism claims. Some of the scenes, the theme, and especially the doctor-patient discussions seem copied-pasted from Bob. Such attempts demotivate the hard working lower budget counterparts and would be highly detrimental for further expanse of the creative works. One relevant article is here.

AglaPlay Verdict: A good psychological thriller
AglaPlay Rating: 3.5/5
Language: Hindi
Duration: ~17 minutes
Writer: Sirish Kunder
Director:  Sirish Kunder
Cast: Manoj Vajpayee (Sapan),
Radhika Apte (Psychiatrist),
Neha Sharma (Kriti) &

Watch now!