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In desperate need of a Magic Lamp!

In desperate need of a Magic Lamp!
His close companions parted ways with him. There were whispers round the corner about him losing his creative freedom on having joined politics. But this man imperturbably continued to explore rich artistic domains by delving deep into intricacies of human philosophy to come up with new narratives in the world of theatre in Bengal. Bratya Basu, in his rising theatrical trajectory, silenced his critics with his first ever political satire, 'Akdin Aladin', a comedy with magic-realism in the play.
Akdin Aladin, with a dollop of Bratya's signature, is a play which is a satire on the politico-cultural environment using West Bengal as the backdrop. The narrative revolves around a rising politician, Madhab, almost sure of getting ticket to fight an election for his party. Madhab aspires to be the Prime Minister of the country and is even willing to take up corrupt means to attain his objective. He communicates with his old friend, Satya who died in an accident in his childhood, in his dreams. Satya, 'truth' acts as Madhab's conscience and appears to counter his dishonest acts. Madhab, before taking a big leap in his political career, wishes to know people's mind. Satya, then presents Madhab with a magic lamp of Aladin, only for a day. The lamp, when flashed in front of an individual, makes him speak out the uncensored version of his thoughts. But, the magic lamp creates havoc when Madhab gets to see the original, uncut version of people's mind. Bratya thus brings surrealism in his play that unmasks the fraud and deception prevailing in individual minds which are responsible for corrupting social behaviour. As the play progresses it explores the minds of young people which have drifted away from innocence to rather cheap consumerism of present times. The play lays bare the manifold increase in agenda-based relationships and degrading moral values and ethics which are crippling young minds and leading them to confusion and uncertainty.
In the second half of the play, on the contrary, the protagonist plunges into despair when the realization pins him down to the ground. The harsh reality transforms the 'shady' and power hungry Madhab into an extremely tormented soul on having observed the naked truth of the unethical, immoral world of power hungry people. A sense of heaviness laced with a feeling of defeat overshadows the narrative when in a subtle mood of enticement Satya allures Madhab to join his world. One has to see the play till the end to know whether 'Satya', the truth comes out as a winner.
Paikpara Indraranga, the gritty theatre group, led by Indrajit Chakraborty produces their fifth play, Akdin Aladin after the widespread success of Awdya Shesh Rajani. The protagonist Kanchan Mallick exhibits a class of acting which is exemplary. His professionalism proves his deep rooted commitment and association with theatre and his matured understanding about it. Hence, Kanchan, as expected, does well in his directorial debut too. Hallucination created in a scene involving Satya goes well with the pace of the play. Taranga Sarkar, Indrajit Chakraborty, Sumana Mukhopadhya in the roles of supporting actors need special mention. The background score, 'Guru dao dao', written by the playwright and sung by Shilajit is apt to the tune of the play. Credit goes to Sudip Sanyal for his artistry in designing light. After all, Akdin Aladin is a well tailored play for those who do not feel ashamed to take a dig at our own value system and ethos that have changed our society.

Mainak Banerjee

Mainak Banerjee

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