Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Play within the play

I never happened to watch a play after I started understanding things, the only play I had watched was a play from Malgudi days, with the main character being played by Shankar Nag. That was ages ago, when I had barely started differentiating the king from the queen. And I remember it was an open-air theatre and quite amazing the performance was. Though didn't understand much of it. It was about some illicit relationships, etc.

Just a few weeks back, getting to know about this Metro Plus Drama festival from one of my friends, I decided to rekindle(??) my interest in professional drama watching. Something apart from the college dramas.

The first drama we went to, was called "The Shadow Box". A Pulitzer award winning play, it dealt with three different people all suffering from cancer, terminal stages, and their struggles with cancer, and how it is quite impossible for their near and dear ones to come to terms with this sad but inevitable fact.

This play was good, with almost everyone performing well. An actor by the name Ram was exceptional. There was a newcomer, who fumbled a little, but his role was quite small and insignificant I would say.

Totally impressed by the play, we decided to go for the next play, "Othello". This used "the play within the play" concept. Probably if I knew Othello, I would have enjoyed this more. But speaking the truth, I hated the play, though enjoyed the play more than the first one.

The best thing about the play was the final Kathakali adaptation, the only part which I liked, but surprisingly, I had forgotten what happens in the play.

What I decided was plays are good, but to be a good actor, you must know the language well, and whatever we do, English would always remain an alien language for us. If the play were in a regional language or Hindi, I am sure, the plays would be very brilliant. They say Kannada, Marathi and Bengali theatre in India is amazing. Since Kannada and Marathi seem to be two languages which I understand, and Kannada I understand well. I hope to be watching a Kannada play soon. Probably in Ranga Shankara. Some of the best actors I have heard come from Kannada theatre. Hopefully get to watch them scene.

Things I know:
Marathi theatre is very experimental
Kannada theatre is very orthodox but much more intelligent and intense
Bengali theatre is awesome, but I wouldn't understand anything. Bengalis have art running in their blood.

Things I expect:
A good experience

Things I don't expect:
Painful audience

Things I learnt:

First play: Its easy to be friends with a person when he/she is doing fine. But when they are not doing well. They puke, they wet their pants, they don't look good, if you still feel like going near them, and if possible help them, then only then they are someone you can think of being friends with forever. A friend is for a general case. It could well be a spouse as well.

Second Play: Its difficult to understand when an Assamese speaks in a brit accent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sad or Happy?

Invariably there are two kinds of movies or books, Sad or Happy. I wonder what do I like more? I am a happy go kind of person. I have never worried about anything so far in life, I used to, but that was almost 10 years back. Now I somehow, couldn't care less about anything. So what kind of books or movies do I like?

Now this is what I hear people talk, when they see a comedy movie,"Hey, to make someone laugh is infinitely tougher than to make you cry. It is easy making a sad movie, kill someone."

When I see a sad movie, people say, "Hey, this is one of the best movies I have seen, depressing, can get you sad, can make you cry, loved the movie."

(Please note a movie can easily be replaced by a book in all the cases without loss of meaning or generality).

But is this true?

I don't know, is making someone laugh much tougher than making someone cry. I don't know, I am not sure. I have seen people ready to laugh much more than be sad. Or is it just the people I know. But the people I know watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books. People do not like showing their sad self to others. If they sulk, they do it when they are alone, if they are sad, they wouldn't like sharing it with anyone. And thats the reason probably though people laugh more than cry, it is a funny moment which they find to be tougher to come along than a sad moment.

Why is it that people's favorite movies are still generally sad movies, with probably the main character dying in the end? For me, it is because sadness has some kind of beauty to it. And dying of the main character is like poetry for people. The most appreciated movies invariably centre around the main character dying or the main character being wronged. There has to be something about pain which touches people.

I am as confused as I was at the beginnning of the post. Well, it has been a long time since I posted anything. So here comes a post.

This makes me think. R K Narayan never wrote a single short story or a novel which had a happy ending. All his books were sad, but the humor somehow dissolved it. That is what I would call a genius.