Neradi Oliparappu turned the spotlight on corruption.

It is not just politicians who are to blame for the canker of corruption that has spread far and wide in the country. Whether it is a doctor, who accepts freebies from a pharmacist selling spurious drugs, or a lawyer who defends a criminal, or a policeman who thinks of himself not as a public servant but as the servant of political parties - everyone is culpable, and is equally to blame for the sordid state of affairs.

As for the media, it abandoned its social responsibility, when profit became the overriding concern, with circulation and TRP ratings becoming the criterion. Often it is the media that gives respectability to the dishonest. ‘Neradi Oliparappu,’ (story and dialogue - C.V. Chandramohan, direction T.V. Varadharajen) staged at Narada Gana Sabha recently, talked of these issues.

Narayanan (T.V. Varadharajen) and his wife Annapoorani (Usha Ravichandran) are in the business of taking care of wedding arrangements, and they are ably assisted by Narayanan’s brother Cheena, who is a victim of the Bhopal tragedy. Cheena’s health takes a turn for the worse, and he almost becomes a victim of a corrupt system fed by doctors, lawyers, policemen and politicians. And yet a TV channel seeks to honour the very people who put Cheena’s life in jeopardy.

Syed Dastagheer as Cheena was excellent. The scene on the registration of Varadhu’s daughter’s marriage was wrong on facts. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, a marriage cannot be registered prior to solemnisation. Either the playwright or the director should have checked the facts.

While Chandramohan’s dialogue didn’t lack punch, he must curb his tendency to overuse alliterative embellishments.

In the last scene, Varadharajen made some valid points. But is there some unwritten rule that the director should always have the best and lengthiest bit? Instead of Varadharajen indulging in a monologue, while Swayamprakash and Telephone Venkatraman stood twiddling their thumbs, the dialogue could well have been shared among the three. ‘Neradi Oliparappu’ has contemporary relevance, but it can do with some improvements.

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