Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TheAtrix - The real germination

I had the pleasure and the opportunity to watch some of my friends(and well, part of the MISF!T family), perform an in-house play titled "The strangeness of reality". The script was written by amit, who also played the protagonist and he also directed the play...whew! That's in itself a lot. Unlike the traditional MISFIT plays, this was the first time without any involvement from anyone outside the cast. The 35 minutes that the play ran for, went on just fine, pushing the audience to their seats with the right amount of suspense mixed with emotions, that made the evening quite enjoyable.

The story starts with an actor(amit), shooting for his movie, where he realizes that he had actually participated in the shoot even before it had started, in the exact way it was about to happen. Similar incidents follow at home when he meets his wife(rency), so it kind of leads the audience into believing that the actor, has some kind of an ESP. Soon, he realizes he isn't normal and meets a doctor(ankur), who happens to be his friend. There again, he foresees that the doctor is about to get a call from his wife and also tells the doctor the prescription given to him, even before any of these occur. The doctor advises him to consult a psychiatrist, which in a way alarms the actor. As the actor steps out of the hospital, he realizes he sees multiple events that are about to happen at the same time. On one side is his elder brother(praveen), a failed actor, who is frustrated with life and his brother and attempts to commit a suicide. On the other side is his aged dad(praveen again), who is again about to die, due to his old age. Another side, he sees his sweet and innocent wife, plotting a devious ploy with his director(karan) to kill him. Will the actor be able to stop any of this? Will he save his brothe? his dad? Will he be able to save himself? Are all these real? These questions and their realities form the strangeness of reality, leaving the audience in a completely different end(which i don't think i should reveal now, just not to disturb the future viewers).

Now, getting back into the stagecraft and associated mechanics, each and every character, completely fit the part. The cast had a mixed set of actors, 3 of them from MISF!T, who had done the level 1 and the level 2 workshops and 2 others(karan and akshay), who hadn't undergone any formal training. But whether it was akshay playing the DON in the initial scene as amit's co-actor in the movie, who immediately switches to this nervous first time actor when the scene is over, or karan as a very understanding director in the first scene, suddenly switches back into this absolutely devious person towards the end, there wasn't any difference from the rest of the cast. The interesting part to observe is each character had multiple shades to them, which was portrayed beautifully by the actors. Whether it was rency, switching between this absolute trophy wife in the first scene to this devious vamp towards the end and then finally the caring wife or Praveen who switched between the elder brother to the father, so effortlessly, or the doctor, who was caught between being a friend and executing his responsibilities, each one had done their job brilliantly. But honestly, my personal favourite, is the protagonist, simply because he had to handle a gamut of emotions, ranging anywhere between a state of insanity to helplessnes to fear to anger to joy and amit handled it beautifully.

There was nothing to complain about the story or the play, except a few things:

  • The end came in too fast and a little abrupt. Maybe, the end needs a little more work and maybe a more concrete ending, not leaving too much room for interpretations.
  • The last scene with the father's monologue could have been positioned better, since the father was lost and the audience could only hear his voice. Also, in my view, the father's role did not add any specific value to the entire script.
  • The point where amit sees these events at the same time, he was completely upstage. Hence, the focus kept switching between amit and the rest. Maybe, it could have been positioned better.

Besides these minor issues, the play was worth watching. And as someone said, i would have definitely paid to watch the show(Yes! you read it right...it was a non ticketed show:) ). Overall, it was a very very enjoyable experience for me and it kept me completely engrossed. I would love to watch this play getting done once again. In "reality", the play was far less "strange" and far more entertaining. Hats off amit and your team for putting this up. Hoping to see more....


Suresh said...

I agree with what Venky has written. It was very enjoyable and also had a lot of suspense being built up in the audience. The script is quite intelligently written. Each actor did an excellent job and did their part in holding the audience attention 100%.

Great work. Thanks for the invite.

Anonymous said...

Thanks man :)