The Cynic

Why I feel Sujoy Ghosh's short film Ahalya is inspired by Alma

I don't think coincidences are as natural in real life as they are in reel life.

 |  The Cynic  |  2-minute read |   22-07-2015
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Alma is a Spanish animated short film written and directed by ex Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas in 2009 - his first directorial venture. Rodrigo is known for his work as an animator in Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Cars and Up! among a host of other animation films. Alma is actually even shorter than Ahalya. A bare five minutes and 24 seconds Alma is an animated feature with no dialogue or narration. There is just music, sound effects and one single main character to tell the story which by the way is dazzling in its simplicity.

Ahalya on the other hand 14 minutes and ten seconds of live motion with characters and dialogues… But I still think Alma is the inspiration because the basic theme of spookiness is the same, the paranormal connect is the same. I am not going into details because that would be a spoiler. I suggest readers watch Ahalya first and then watch Alma.

All I can say is that if Sujoy Ghosh got inspired by Alma then he did a good job of adapting it to suit local sensibilities. Ahalya in Hindu mythology was Maharishi Gautam's beautiful wife who, according to some lore, the king of gods, Indra began to desire. He went in the garb of Maharishi Gautam and seduced her. When the rishi found out he cursed both of them… Ahalya was turned to stone and Indra was to be born a thousand times. Soumitra Chatterjee as Mr Sadhu is as always brilliant though opinion maybe divided over the aptness of Radhika Apte as Ahalya. Why did Sujoy go in for a non-Bengali actor - Did it have anything to do with the level of hotness that she had to portray? The third character in Ahalya is inspector Indra Sen played by Tota Roy Chowdhury who does a good job of being the wooden-faced policeman. Not just the story and the acting but the sound design and art direction are equally good in Ahalya and all in all it is neat cinematic venture.   

Now what if Sujoy Ghosh was not inspired by Alma? What if Sujoy has never seen Alma? What if Sujoy has never heard of Alma other than in conjunction with Mater? Well! I would say that while I enjoyed watching both Alma and Ahalya. I still do not believe in the paranormal and I don't think coincidences are as natural in real life as they are in reel life.


THE CYNIC THE CYNIC @cynic_today

The middle aged Cynic observes life through a sceptic’s prism. Be warned that the Cynic is a tattling voyeur with a caustic agenda.

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