Monday, February 28, 2011

Five Point Someone - The Play

There is something called overkill. After the novel and the film, the story of 3 idiots screwing up bad at an engineering college, and pissing off one of the head professors has lost its charm. Still, I was looking forward to it because I thought this could make for an interesting drama on stage if played out nicely. I knew the actors are not professionals yet and that the acting troupe Evam is but only a promising venture yet. But I was expecting more given that the NCPA had it on.

The book had gone well with the audiences because of the narrative of Hari. Lot of people connected with his mediocre life. But when it comes to a play, I personally feel that the story should come out of the scenes and the narration should be minimum. What this troupe did was to use a narrator, who used his voice very well, to take the plot forward and meanwhile, act out the important scenes on stage. The effort on converting a novel to a script was very minimal. It felt more like an interactive book reading event to me.

The start of the play was a drag. However, it picked up pace in the middle when the characters started to come to life. All credits to the actor playing Alok for this. He has a loud and clear voice and he played the frustrated 'loser' very well. Ryan was played decently well too. But the rest of the actors were only mediocre. Certain improvisations in the narratives worked well with the audiences who laughed without restraint when the stern IIT professor brands Hari as a commerce student because he could not answer easy engineering questions in the viva. The whole Operation Pendulum was played down in the act and Alok's attempt at suicide failed to touch hearts. Basically, the play managed humour and frustation well but sucked when it came to communicating love and sentiments of sadness. The concluding narrative was taken over by Chetan Bhagat himself who only brought the already lowly final act further down. Someone please tell him that his voice lacks both the volume and the modulation essential for a theatre artist.

In the technical aspects, the use of lights was decent though a better use of background music could have helped the prospects. The prod shifting was not neat and you could hear the thuds of the tables being put down in the dark. All in all, I would not recommend the play for its theatrics. Go for the story or the blind IIT fascination if you want to.

The author is not a theatre critic by profession or by hobby for that matter. The views expressed above are truly his personal opinions formed after having watched some medium to good quality plays. Cross-critiques and comments are welcome.


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