Auntyji is a 20-minute-long short film, starring the veteran actress Shabana Azmi and acid-attack survivor Anmol Rodriguez. The film is directed by Adeeb Rais and revolves around the lives of two women living in Mumbai. The story unfolds when the two characters meet at a pharmacy, and find companionship in each other amidst being stomped by the stereotypes and expectations of the society. The movie was released on YouTube on Wednesday, and has received good reviews by the audience and critics.
The film begins by showcasing the emotional state of the two characters, who are excited for their special day. Shabana Azmi plays the role of an elderly Parsi woman Parveen and Anmol is seen as Gitika, an acid-attack survivor who is in Mumbai for an internship. The two confront each other about their special day upon meeting at the pharmacy, where Anmol had gone looking for some change to pay the taxi driver.
The rest of the film highlights the issue of discrimination faced by individuals in their daily lives. When Parveen goes to a tattoo parlour to get her first ever tattoo, she's been taunted at, judged for her age and the desire to get inked. And, Gitika, who looks forward to her first day at the office as an intern, is showered with empathy and pity for her appearance, while overlooking her talent.
Though Auntyji's storyline is predictable from the start, the portrayal of the characters as two strong human beings, trying to tackle societal norms and fighting for their rights and respect, comes across as extremely empowering and shows how to cherish life by adding a pinch of pleasantness to it. In terms of acting, both Shabana Azmi and Anmol Rodriguez have done justice to their characters by being themselves, yet fitting into the role completely.