Sujoy Ghosh’s Epic Bengali Short Film Ahalya
Sujoy Ghosh’s new Bengali Best Short Film Ahalya is based on the story of a character in Hindu mythology of the same name. In Indian mythology, Ahalya is known to be the creation of Lord Brahma. Myth has it that Ahalya was the most beautiful woman in the world. However, she was cursed by her husband, an old sage called Gautama for infidelity.
You can trust Ghosh to take an age old myth and give it a thrilling, modern twist. In his short, Radhika Apte plays the role of Ahalya, the young and beautiful wife of a famous, aging artist (played by the veteran Soumitra Chatterjee).
The film begins to pick pace when a young policeman (Tota Roy Chowdhury) enters their home to question them about a missing man.
It starts to get spooky, when you are shown that a doll-version of the missing person is standing on the couple’s mantelpiece, along with 5-6 other dolls. But before you can even try to come to your own conclusions, the gripping plot takes you along with it.
What follows is and edgy, spooky unraveling of events. Apte’s acting gives away that the film is not as one-dimensional as it seems in the first 5 minutes.
Chatterjee plays the perfect foil to Apte, by being the weird old man but also holding your interest right till the final reveal.
Ahalya is the sort of film you find yourself sharing on a friend’s wall urging them to watch it ASAP, so that you could discuss it over a cup of chai. You’re dying to tell them what happens in the end, but you also want them to have the pleasure of having watched the film in all its glory.
It isn’t easy to create a world of fear and tension in 14 minutes, less so if it’s entirely dependent on your viewers’ understanding of a sub-tale they may or may not have read. Eventually, this Best Short Film comes across as little other than a polished tribute—perhaps appropriately paced for a web platform, but more of a net-practice session in the real world.
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