High on thrill: Ahalya by Sujoy Ghosh

Sujoy Ghosh never fails to surprise us. His last film Kahaani (2012), starring Vidya Balan, left an indelible mark on us. Who can forget the nail-biting suspense? Or Mr. Bob Biswas? Now, while we wait for his next thriller (based on the Japanese novel ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’), Sujoy Ghosh has released a Bengali short film- Ahalya. And boy, will this film will give you the creeps- we guarantee it!

Sujoy Ghosh took inspiration from the story of Ahalya, from Hindu mythology. According to the myth, Ahalya was the wife of sage Gautam Maharishi. Once, she was deceitfully seduced by Indra (the king of Gods), and later, cursed by her husband for infidelity. Sujoy Ghosh brilliantly gives a modern twist to this story. The film stars Radhika Apte, Tota Roy Chowdhury, and veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee.  Even though the film is just 14 minutes long,  it is  packed with all the essential elements of a perfect thriller.

The film begins with Inspector Indra Sen investigating the case of a missing person. He visits the house of a famous and ageing artist, Goutam Sadhu, to inquire about the case. There he meets the beautiful yet mysterious wife of the artist, Ahalya. As the film proceeds, it unravels a gripping tale of deceit and seduction. The film is shot in broad daylight, but still it leaves you with an eerie feeling, and the twisted plot plays with your mind till the very end.

This short film is driven by outstanding performances by all three actors. In most short films, the characters often feel underdeveloped or unbelievable. But Sujoy Ghosh has written and directed the characters in such a way, that they become real even in the short span of the film.

If you are a fan of animation, this film will remind you of the short "Alma" by Rodrigo Blaas. But Ahalya has a charm of its own. More short films by Sujoy Ghosh? Bring it on!
If you haven’t watched it yet, here’s the film (with subtitles, for those who don’t understand Bengali!).

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