Wednesday, December 23, 2009

shambhuraje the play.

as you might know i am not a huge follower of the drama scene. but i happened to get my hands on a pass for drama fest, first of which was shambhu raje.
i skipped dinner and rushed to the venue, feelin a lil selfconscious that i might be the only person going to a play ALONE. i am not really punctual guy except on rare occaissions. and as i did manage to reach on time, a standard one hour delay was a huge turn off.
anyhow, the play starred dr amol kolhe as the protagonist, the prince sambhaji bhosale, narrating his side of the story, or rather,the history.
in the first half, the director attempts to potray how sambhaji was made a scapegoat of raj-niti...politics of the kings court,his agony about having to live up to the legend that his dad was and his sense of being deprived a father son relationship.
well it was agonising no doubt, but because it felt like mr kolhe was not doing justice to the role. the dialogue delivery failed to build up intensity, and the characters all seemed badly casted.i had to constantly fight the urge to get up and leave.
and this was the state for first 30-45 minutes. then gradually th story picked up pace. still at interval i coudlnt help but wonder whether the play was worth my time, effort and money.
at interval, shivaji's wife n courtiers have made sambhajis life hell. sambhaji is caught up in two controversial rape sentences. after being denied the chance to campaign for karnataka with his glorious warrior-statesman father, he's banished to govern a less prestigious konkan territory. sambhaji is crestfallen. he decides to break free and join enemy forces.. with the motive that he shall meet his father eye to eye only after proving himself. all through out, sambhaji never disrespects his dad but he is in despair that his father wont treat him like a son or crown prince, but a pervert criminal.
and then its interval.
post interval sambhaji is now the crown prince of swaraj. his brother rajaram with his stepmom have not succeeded in their evil plans to usurp his kingdom. he has placed em both under house arrest.shivaji is dead. and its celebration time cuz hes the king.
from this point onwards, the play took a giant leap from a rather drab story to a fantastic combination of script, direction and terrific acting.
the plot remained rather simple, but it unfolded beautifully. mr kolhe must have put his soul in his performance.. cuz the result was nothin short of a masterpiece. sambhaji himself, his loyal mama and his poet make a terrific punch of gaiety, friendship and heroism to the story. the characters come alive, dialogues set the audiences hearts afire and you remained glued to your seats empathising what'd happen to sambhaji next. even the charaters and motives of villains are weaved into the story, so that the play stays real and mental debates about whose right or wrong keep getting fuelled.
the director sparked it up so well that i was worried another riot may break out in miraj.
anyhow, the play ends with the tragic capture of sambhaji, and how he chose valour over cowardice, endured torture n died a martyr's death. the director absolutely succeeds in telling his story cuz he converts this tragic tale of death and despair into a exciting tale that inspires courage, endurance and honour in everyone who sees it.
overall, a very good play.. but thats after you manage to sustain through the first 45 minutes.
and technically, theres some flaws.
cynical as i always am, i see the real story as.. sambhaji might have been a talented scholar and a good warrior, but he was a pervert who raped two women and then pleaded that he was being framed. conveniently both his victims commited suicide so there was no scope for cross examination. he lusted for power like any other prince. when denied, he joined the enemy. having had his fill of conquests and a welcome banner from back home.. he switched sides again when the time was right. this leaves one last question unanswered.. why did he choose gettin his eyes gouged and a death from torture, when he had the option of switching sides again to ensure survival.
to do one right thing in life?

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