It is indeed ironical for someone like me, who was so far quite oblivious of the fact that the Tamil Drama’s even exists, to accept the fascination that has grown towards it. My respect for the various Drama troupe’s has increased over the past few months. The amount of dedication that is put in and the perfection that these talented artists achieve is just unbelievable. Take the script, direction, acting, the stage set up or even the background score, everything is worked upon with sheer sincerity. The very fact that these people still continue acting and creating wonderful stage dramas, despite the lack of glitz and glamour associated with it, just shows the amount of love and passion towards it.
Sraddha’s Valai, written and directed by Srivatsan, is a brilliant and unconventional script that talks about the web (Valai in Tamil) that we unknowingly spin across our lives. The opening scene enacted by the protagonist Balaji as Shiva, her wife Maya and his father (played by Kathadi Ramamurthy) goes for more than 10 minutes and Kathadi Ramamurthy with his witty comical punches steals the show with ease. The very next scene showcases the amazing creativity by the people managing the sets, a set over another. I mean the whole hall literally broke into applause when the curtain was raised, something that I have never witnessed so far during any other play. The concept of showcasing two different timelines is not new but the approach that was taken for Valai was simply mind-blowing.
The entry of Nithya Kaushik, who plays the character of Mrinalini, was definitely impressive. I mean, it’s not often that you see such a charming and cute girl playing a villain character. The eloquence with which she carried her role was pretty much evident through out the play. Did i mention that she was pretty? Ahem! Mani who plays the part of a staff working with Balaji was impressive too. Although the manner in which his character was portrayed was far from reality, it did add a lot of fun factor which kept the audience entertained.
Balaji soon discovers the evil plot and conspiracy around him that could very well jeopardize the whole project. This marks the entry of Srivatsan who, as always, got a grand reception from the audience. He played the role of the well known writer Sujatha. The whole conversation between him and Balaji was something beyond what was required at that point of time and perhaps, was just added to increase the weightage to Sujatha’s character. From thirukurals to nanotechnology, it had everything, which at the beginning made the scene a little draggy. Nevertheless, Srivatsan’s impressive stage presence did make up for that part of the script.
The script ended on a good note and it was left to the audience to comprehend what the real Valai was. Was it the web of corporate life that we spin around ourselves and we don’t even bother coming out of it? or Is it the technology that inevitably spins its web around us without which we cannot live and also at the same time which could do us a lot more harm than we can possibly thing of.
It is indeed quite sad to know that most people still consider the whole thing related to this Tamil Drama and Theatre as obsolete concept. The only solace is that various troupe’s and organizations such as Shraddha are putting all they can to revive the theater culture. Going by the recent unique scripts like Shyamalam and Naarkaliku Edamilai, and the reception that it has got, Tamil Theatre does look strong.