Saturday, 11 March 2023

"Lalka Paag" - Maithili movie screened in Mumbai University on 10.3.2023

For English and हिन्दी Links of the reports on the play 'Maranoparant'Click here

 Forceful expression of the woes of a Mithilani
(A report of movie screening event)

(मैथिली मे देखबा लेल - एतय क्लिक करू)
(हिंदी में देखने के लिए - यहाँ क्लिक करके क्र.सं.3 पर जाइये)

"The real turban of a man is his woman who is still with you. Then, why are you weeping?" - Bhola Master tells this to the bitterly weeping Radhakant who is just to join the procession for his own second marriage. He was now crying relentlessly like a boy of Std Three. He could not bear the realisation of the extreme internal pain of his first wife who has been seemingly enthusiastic to the extent that she gave the sanctimoniously preserved headgear (paag) of him so that he could proceed for his second marriage. 

"Lalka Paag" is the masterpiece of the iconic Maithili storyteller Rajkamal Chaudhary.

Maithili feature film “Lalka Paag” was shown in the Seminar Room, Near Gate No.1, University of Mumbai. The director Prashant Nagendra was present in the University premises on this occasion. Most of the viewers were non-Maihil but they said to this reporter that they were able to understand the storyline of the movie. Subtitles were also provided for their convenience.

There were many distinguished persons present on this occasion which included  Bhaskar Jha (renowned Maithili/Enlgish litterateur and an expert on Maihili Movies), renowned TV actress Asmita Sharma, veteran Bhojpuri actor Gopal ji, TV actors Rajiv , Prof. Prasad Thakur, Researcher Vibha Jha, Mithila Media person Mala Jha and blogger Hemant Das ‘Him’ etc.  A large number of students from Department of Communication and Journalism, Mumbai University watched the whole movie with full concentration which tells about the success of it's artistic quality. 

After the show, this reporter asked the viewers about their quick response on the movie. Prof. Prasade Thakur said that notwithstanding the fact that the film has less dialogues, the director has succeeded in communicating his messages through the visual language. This movie is full of the fragrance of Maithili culture. Student Atharva Aloni said that the movie is woman-centric and does not allow the language to come as a barrier in communication. He said that he liked the work of the lead actress a lot even though she was not a professional actor. Student Vinay Yadav and Nilesh Sauthane also praised the movie for the portrayal of pristine Mithila culture. One of the distinguished person said that this is one of the movies which has been shot in the natural ambience of the characters just like in Malyali movies. 

The film was directed by Prashant Nagenrda and was acted by Meena Gautam, Roshan Raj, Shweta Verma and others.

While talking to this reporter the director of the movie Prashant Nagendra said that the even though the movie was completed with a lot of perseverance in terms of music, acting and cinematography it could not get a commercial release because of some legal hurdles. One can watch the videos of songs, best scenes and promos which are easily available on google and can get mesmerised by extremely poignant story supported by heart-wrenching acting and touching songs and other ingredients of a successful movie. Prashant seems to be somewhat depressed the way people stood between it's commercial release time-to-time with wrong reasons as he calls it.

Let us now talk something more about the organiser and some of the guests of the event. Vibha Jha is the person who took initiative for organising it with the help of Mass Communication Deptt of Mumbai Univ. She told us that the veteran actor Mr. Gopal is the first generation actor in Maithili, Magahi and Bhojpuri movie world. Rahul Sinha is the lead actor in Muralidhar's "Sajana ke angana me solah shringar". Rajeev Singh is the main villain in the movie "Sasta jingi mahag sindur". Mona Ray is the lead actress in the same film. Her husband Rakesh  Tripathi is a well-known actor and director of Bhojpuri and Maithili cinema.

Report by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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A scene from the feature film "Lalka Paag"

Sunday, 5 March 2023

"Baanswaada Company" staged at Versova (Mumbai) on 4.4.2023

 Shades of thespian struggle
(Drama review)

हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 12 देखिए 

You need to be mad to win your fad. Theatre is an obsession and can hardly be called a profession. There are innumerable thorny crosses you need to negotiate before you establish yourself on theatrical stage. And even after you become a well-known actor, the struggles continue. The play "Baaswaada Comapany" gives a nonchalant view of what and how about the life of drama artists. The instance shown is of a drama team working in a far-flung area of Rajasthan and the director who is also the author of the play has successfully preserved the sanctity of regional language and accent. 

The script does not proceed with hardbound storyline and allows the director to show different instances of internal happenings in a drama team. These unstructured events covers perhaps a span of a number of years. 

There is an excellent senior artist in the team but on even smallest unagreeable statement by other, he leaves the precincts. He is unmarried at 43 of age and a tippler. Her mother is concerned how shall she arrange food after two days but this artist is only concerned about his drama. There is a sponsor man who only thinks about his money-back and so he stresses on keeping original female artists. During the show of Ramleela the artist given the role of 'deer' puts up the mask of 'horse' and spoils the scene. Ram asks him to go and bring his friend 'deer' so that he can kill him with his arch as wished by Sita. On this the director somehow convinces Ram to get satisfied with killing a horse only as it is he who is available at this time. After Ramleela, the entry of an attractive foreigner female artist the internal optics of the team is on topsy-turvy. Though she raises the charm and value of the team manifold but ultimately cheats the sponsor and flees away.

And many a fact emerge from that. Some of them are - 1.The master of a drama company has always to tread on a tight rope dealing along with all his senior-junior artists also the sponsors of the shows, 2. The most talented and devoted actor is also the moodiest one, 3. The social dynamic has a direct reflection on the drama team viz. caste and religious conflicts, 4. The drama company generally believes in many kinds of superstitions, 5. The talented female artists are also vital for the success of the show. Without them your show is incomplete, 6. Some member may ditch the company at certain point of time. But the last and most important takeaway is the art of drama costs an artist his whole of life. He gives all he has to his muse but gets nothing more than an internal satisfaction. And that is why a drama artist must be respected in the society. The dramas that are shown are not only pieces of entertainment but are very condense media of thought transmission, the main plinth of the progress of human society.  

The play is made up of the scenes of the rehearsals and shows of two different poles of dramatic art - One is Ramleela and other is Shakespeare's Othelo. Comedy emerged from the dereliction and mis-performance by the artists which were somehow stringed together instantaneously in a conducive manner. These scenes were deliberate and parts of the script.

Artists who acted well were Amrit Arora, Jaswinder Singh, Prakash Parida, Akash Bhanushali, Aditi Charak, Akshat Jain, Anuj Khurana, Varun Pawar, Elakshi Moray Gupta, Mohan Sagar, Nikhil Modi, Sachin Bhatt, Ranjana Sharma, Himanshu Aneja, Ishan Pehal. Director Niresh Kumar who is also an author is from NSD has shown his mettle in converting the common life happenings of drama artists in a presentable play. This was their maiden show.

One thing I have to say is that the play has declared duration of 1 hour 10 minutes but it ran for more that 2 hours, I think.

The main motive of the play was perhaps to make it a comedy but it turns out to be a balanced mix of comedy and thought-provocation. A good play worthy to watch.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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