Theatre Review: Nakalat Saare Ghadle, A 22-Year-Old Hit Play, Is Revived With A New Team

Theatre Review: Nakalat Saare Ghadle, A 22-Year-Old Hit Play, Is Revived With A New Team

It is always a challenge for a viewer, performer, producer and the director to be a part of a revival — be it a play or a film

Shruti PanditUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 12:28 AM IST
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It is always a challenge for a viewer, performer, producer and the director to be a part of a revival — be it a play or a film. Viewer, most often, looks at the current production with a lens of the past and the cast and crew live under the stress of being judged on the basis of the past production. The stress for the cast and crew is more if the earlier production is already on a pedestal.

The current team of Nakalat Saare Ghadle, I am sure, must have had their nerve-wracking moments because the protagonist of the earlier production (more than 20 years ago) was an actor with a larger-than-life image — late Vikram Gokhale. Anand Ingale, the actor who plays the protagonist in the current production admits being little apprehensive initially. “I was anxious for more than one reason,” says Anand. “One, I was doing a role that the veteran actor Vikram Gokhale had enacted and made memorable. It was going to be difficult to match his histrionics and the expectations of people who had watched him. Two, I had an image in the minds of the audience of a light-veined or comic actor. This role is different. So to be able to get the audience to accept the serious side of the character of Batu Nene was a bigger challenge.”

Nakalat Saare Ghadle is a play about the challenges that youngsters face in their growing-up age, the generation gap and the tribulations of the older generation while attempting to understand the younger generation. The play underlines the emotional turbulence a family goes through and the need for a third-party intervention in some cases.

Rahul Shenolikar, a 19-year-old youth is smitten by Karisma Kapoor and bitten by the acting bug. He has won awards in inter-collegiate competitions. Turning point in his life is when Karisma congratulates him for his work and promises a role in Hindi films. He takes the offer too seriously. He gives up his dream of MBA and starts doing rounds of studios and Karisma’s house. Slowly, this aspiration turns into an obsession and a psychological issue.

This behaviour is not accepted by his maternal uncle, Batu Nene, who is his local guardian. Nene is a strict, disciplinarian bachelor who has sacrificed his life for Rahul’s mother and Rahul. He has certain expectations from Rahul and is not willing to compromise. The generation gap widens when Rahul gives up studies for acting.

Rahul’s friend Monika and her sister-in-law Mira notice the change in Rahul. Mira, who is a counsellor, realises that it is a serious and clinical issue that needs counselling and third-party intervention. She speaks to Nene, who, initially, is not comfortable with the idea of counselling. However, later, he and Rahul agree for the sessions. Though the sessions are for Rahul, Mira soon realises that Nene too needs to come to terms with his past. She skillfully helps both.

Vijay Kenkre, who had directed the play earlier as well, helms it this time around too. “For me the challenge was to keep the current generation engaged and keep the play relevant for them,” says Vijay. “My approach, therefore, was a little different this time. The focus earlier was Nene. It was his point of view. This time it was Mira’s point of view.”

Vijay successfully manages to keep all generations in the audience engaged with the speed of the play. There are a few tweaks in the script — additions and subtractions — to keep the script germane.

The moves on the stage and the use of light and music is apt and helps convey the emotion.

Anand Ingale surpasses all expectations as Nene. His body language conveys the underlying anxiety and trauma of the character. Trivial things like cleaning hands and glasses frequently are used skillfully to portray the nuances of Nene. Shweta Pendse as Mira (Mira Anni) excels. Her subtle gestures and controlled vocal tenors make her a perfect counsellor. Prashant Keni as Rahul makes his mark. He has full scope for going overboard and ham. But, most often, he manages to keep control. Though he should work on his expressions a little more.

Kudos to the producers Nitin Naik and Rahul Pethe for choosing a revival. “The subject of the play will remain relevant even 20 years down the line,” says Rahul Pethe. “We, Nitin and I, found the subject apropos, engaging, and compelling. Therefore, we decided to revive this play and we were sure that we wanted Vijay Kenkare as the director.”

It is a play for all generations and a must watch.

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