Director Sujoy Ghosh, who shot to fame with his Vidya Balan-starrer Kahani in 2012, is out with another thriller, a modern retelling of a mythological tale with a feminist spin.
Ahalya, a 14-minute Bengali film made as a part of Royal Stag’s Large Short Films, has legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Tota Roy Chowdhury in key roles. The film tells the story of what happens when a police inspector, Indra Sen, visits the house of an aged artist, Goutam Sadhu, who is married to a much younger woman, Ahalya.
Just like Kahani had by a strong female protagonist, in Ahalya too, Apte dominates with her portrayal of the sexy and vivacious wife.
In Hindu mythology, Ahalya is the stunning young wife of the much older sage Gautama Maharishi. Enamoured of her beauty, the god Indra comes in the disguise of her husband and seduces her. Learning his wife’s extra-marital affair with Indra (which was a rape according to certain mythological texts), the sage punishes her for infidelity and turns her into stone.
But in Ghosh’s Ahalya it’s someone else who is turned into a stone. That's where Ghosh makes a statement on our common understanding of extra-marital affairs and infidelity.
With commendable performances by all the three lead actors, Ahalya is a must watch.