Saturday, April 24, 2010

Review of Girish Karnad's Play "Bikhare Bimb"

This is a very famous play written and directed by Girish Karnad originally in Kannada version as ‘Odakalu Bimba’ and later translated in Hindi as ‘Bikhare Bimb” and in English as ‘Broken Images’. This is a solo actor play and the Hindi version was enacted by Arundhati Nag. This is my impression of the 50th show of 'Bikhare bimb' at Rangashankara on 18-04-2010;

Theme: The play delves into deeper issues of identity crisis of an artist, the reality and fiction element in the creation, the genuineness of the art, the conflict between depicting the common life around the artist in all its colours and the pull to craft the art so as to serve the global audiences.

Script: The script has been translated from the original Kannada version. The translation in Hindi is done aptly. The Hindi used in the translation comes closer to literary form and is in keeping with the style and seriousness of the play. The script has also been given contemporary feel by giving the characters the modern occupations and portraying its changing patterns and demands.

Stage design: The stage was designed in a simple manner. Only the necessary items giving an impression of a TV recording room were there. The TV set displaying the inner self of the protagonist (Manjula Nayak) was placed in a side so that the centre of the stage could be occupied by the protagonist and her movements.

Acting: This is a solo actor play though the script has many characters in it. Well, needless to say that Arundhati Nag, as the protagonist ‘Manjula Nayak’, does full justice to the character. She feels confident in the role and brings out emotions, conflict, fear and frustration nicely. In fact, she plays out the vacuum in Manjula’s married life in a very nuanced and natural manner. However, (though this is a very minor error but just pointing it out for the sake of perfection), she doesn't pronounce the hindi word "Srijansheelta" correctly. She pronounces the letter "Ree" as "Ru".

During the dialogue with her inner self, the protagonist’s inner self forces her to get in touch with her psychological self -to see the boredom in her routine life, to honestly probe her prejudices and shortcomings. It also makes her look at her marriage through a different lens -to discover the issues of trust, understanding and physical chemistry in more subtle manner.

It is challenging to touch such varied and complex issues, let alone dissect and discuss it. Nevertheless, the play accomplishes this feet by maintaining its rhythm through tight script, apt language, sensitive portrayal by the actor (Arundhati Nag) and through close coordination of lighting and televised recording.

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