Sunday 1 January 2023

"Thanks Dear" - a Marathi play staged at Dadar (Mumbai) on 31.12.2022

 The Real Guru 
(Drama review)

हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -  यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 8 देखिए 

No virtuoso worth your guru-dom except yourself. The thespian line is too parched! The field of acting which invokes emotions and ideals in endless masses is itself eroded of all of those. The Marathi play "Thanks dear" is a nonchalant discourse on the moral conflict invariably faced by all actors.

Raghu is a highly talented actor who is still attempting hard to establish in the film industry. He comes across a girl Sati who doesn't know much about how to act but is diehard adamant on becoming a high-profile actor. Initially Raghu laughs at her and derides her aspirations. But when he is convinced that she is really serious to join the acting profession, he teaches him some lessons. He shares a magic mantra of high-class acting and says that she should deliver a dialogue keeping in view the subsequent unspoken dialogue of the responding actor. See, such unspoken dialogues are never written in the script and are only delivered through the body acting of the responding actor. Sati remembers this as her life- lesson. Raghu shows her the photo of his guru hanging on the wall and says that this grand man is his source of inspiration and bowing down before him enhances his capacity to act marvelously. Sati has a face of disapproval on this. Raghu is furious on the insult of his guru and forces her out. Then for many years he does not have any contact with Sati and keep himself in touch of his guru who keeps blessing him for his success. Then after 3 and half years, Sati again turns up before Raghu and shows her trophy awarded in a prestigious movie competition. At first, Raghu is confused how to react but soon he expresses his pride for the prize won by his acting student. On being asked by Raghu to take blessings of his guru also, Sati reveals a truth about the guru hearing which Raghu is shattered. How the story moves ahead, let me keep silent for it as the play is still making rounds.

I must say that keeping the audience engaged throughout in a hardcore moral discourse that too relying primarily upon the conversation of only two actors must have been a hurculanean task for the writer and director but the strong script and utmost finesse in acting made the boat sail through. One astonishing fact was that even though the whole story relies only and only on the heavy interactions of two unrelated young characters of opposite sex, there is not even a tinge of romanticism in the whole discourse. There is numerous scenes in the bedroom but not a single bedroom scene. There are evidently occasions of drinking bouts but even in the saturation of drunkenness they cling to the main object of the play. They hug, they dance but without any romantic diversion. The dialogues were so witty and realistic that the audience never felt the burden of the unsavory facts they were being enlightened too.

One thing the viewers loved to watch was that whenever the girl was shown the door out she came back jumping  into the window. 

Both the actors were immaculate in dialogue-delivery and body acting. The set-design was impressive and as per the requirement of the story. The female actor was neatly dressed and so was the male. Light and sound effects were good. 

The play was written and directed by Nikhil Ratnaparkhi and Tushar Gaware. The actors were Nikhil Ratnaparkhi and Hemangi Kavi.

This play seemingly shows you a solution to the multi-dimensional thespian dilemma. The issue is so intricate that vistas of debate opens up fiercely once allowed. Though we all know that a play's success lies on the manner it a subject is dealt with and not in the subject itself. So I can say that the play is fully successful in terms of impressing the minds of the viewers along with giving the wholesome entertainment.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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