A common man's uncommon love

A common man's uncommon love

In the time of love or love-cum-arranged marriages and matrimonial sites, if a 35-year old sets out to look for a bride for himself through a marriage bureau; the story is bou­nd to be called ‘different’ if not avant-garde.

The concept of the recently-staged play Koi Baat Chale at Shri Ram Centre, is
therefore credible and the actors make it a wonderful viewing experience.

Just before the performan­ce, the announcement in pure Hindi sets the tone for the narrative that is to follow. It is right from here that the music from mainstream Hindi cinema enters the narrative and becomes one of the characters since it makes an appearance every now and then and adds to the level of performance.

In between the popular melodies of Kishore Kumar, the story flows seamlessly. Though the life of the prota­-gonist Kanhai Lal Bansi Prasad is not as hurdle-free as the narrative of the play, yet the same portrayed by ace actor Yashpal Sharma steals hearts.

One doesn’t feel impressed by the manner in which Sharma plays the male character of a common man who is full of follies. His portfolio from films is enough to prove that he is worthy of presenting the same. The stunning bit is how the director Ram Ji Bali delineates his protagonist – a common man – to look like a convincing ‘hero’. So much so, that whenever Sharma fumbles in dialogue-delivery, it appears as if the unconfident Prasad is rumbling.

 In the director’s attempt to achieve the same, what takes centre stage is the finesse of the dialogues. Simple sentences without any use ofabusive or double-meaning words contain the required punch and arouse laughter in the audience. In the male
protagonist’s soliloquies, there is enough evidence to prove this. And even in the character’s conversations with his prospective brides, there is an uncanny presence of comedy.  

Though there are a lot of gaps in between various scene changes, the narrative isn’t
disturbed by it. The story, however, appears a little stretched in the section where Prasad is unable to propose to his lady love Supriya.

Beyond the woes of an unmarried man in his late 30s, a girl wanting his admirer to propose to him and the dece­iving nature of marriage bureaus, there is a political message too. When Sharma as Prasad says that his using Hindi doesn’t make him a nationalist or an associate of a particular party, he receives a thun­­dering applause from the audience for echoing the views of those from the society, who feel the urge to be close to their culture without making it a forced choice for others. 

The female protagonist, portrayed by Ritu Sharma, deserves a special mention
for depicting various characters and supporting the tale throughout.

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