Maybe it would be unfair if I said that this play didn't meet my expectations, probably because I had recently seen Miss Meena - a creative masterpiece and this set the benchmark quite high.
Moreover, just by virtue of it being a Girish Karnad play, directed by Lillete Dubey, boasting a star cast with Lillete Dubey, Ira Dubey, Suchitra Pillai, Utkarsh Mazumdar, Amar Talwar one really has some high expectations.
The acting was brilliant – no doubts about that. Guess the story line was not very intelligent and that’s why we didn't see any of the expected sharp and witty humor one associates with Girish Karnad. In fact I think the story was more appropriate for a B-class Bollywood movie than a play with such a brilliant cast!
It reminded me of one of those Govinda-Karisma Kapoor movies, which were a rage in the 90s. There were several of them, but I am sure no one remembers which one was which. There will definitely be confusions on which scene / dialog / song was in which movie. The movie made you laugh for a bit, but nothing that stayed with you for even a minute after the movie was over.
The theme is how the traditional Indian Wedding has changed in today's globalized, technologically advanced world…a subject which maybe could have been handled more innovatively. But the characters where stereotypes.
So we have this EDUCATED, LIBERAL, MODERN urban middle-class family – an elder daughter who lives abroad with her professional husband, a son who is a software designer BUT the younger daughter is willing to marry a suitable boy from the US whom she has never met. The play starts with the brother making a video of his younger sister to showcase her to the prospective groom. Not theatre material…I say… Bollywood material!
But not to take everything from the play …it does have some charming moments and witty dialogues. Utkarsh Mazumdar was brilliant – his portrayal as Appa who still lives in the past had everyone laughing, especially when he would repeat the dialog about ‘had his brother been alive…’
The prospective groom from the United States (not sure of his name) was super….his American twang was just out of the world. His talk, his body language, accent… everything was just so USA returned!
Maybe if the play stayed in this one theme, it would have done better…but me no expert. This is just my personal view, but the play tried to raise too many questions and in the end leaving some of them unanswered…as in what was with the dead uncle. And the most ominous one…did she find happiness getting married to that obnoxious creature or as advised by her siblings..that if things didn't work out, she could always come back, did she return?