“Heroes” with its occasional saucy libretto and sporadic witticism is yet another spoof of the Mayan doomsday conspiracy with plenty of esoteric references and one liners that only a true-blooded Chennaiite would enjoy. It is, therefore, quite regretful that the end of the world might have been quite welcome, particularly towards the end of the second hour where the clichéd jokes and jaded cynicism seemed to wear off the audience's patience.

Typical characters

“Heroes” was written and directed by Amit Singh for A.S.A.P productions and Bhumi, a Chennai based non-profit youth volunteer organisation, in support of AIDS awareness. The pantomime is the tale of a typical Tamil cinema-like protagonist, “Cream Bun Azhagan”, with an ensemble of superheroes and a fairy Godmother on a mission to save the world from the 2012 doomsday. They set out in search of the “Time Extendinator” (that extends the time, duh!) in Parrys Corner (And not Paris, they reiterate) while battling the evil Manchurian Boo and his three minions working with the young and not-the-least-bit-ugly witch Wella.

While the super heroes — Superman, Shaktimaan, James Bond and Harry Potter — battle Chennai's usual crooks: the spitters and defecators, the conniving CD sellers and the bogus energy drink makers (enter some surfeit wit). For some reason that escapes the audience, their female counterparts — Snow While, Red Riding Hood, Bella, Cinderella and the Fairy God mother — spend the day at a beauty parlour. The rest of the story is the classic good vs. evil and Tamil cinema's ever famous brother meets long lost brother tale.

Performances

Some of the characters need to be given their due. Cream Bun Azhagan and the Fairy Godmother were brilliantly portrayed, almost compensating for a script that went limp towards the end. Wella's unique laugh, the tantrums of Little Red Riding Hood and a Harry Potter, who had an uncanny resemblance to his Hollywood counterpart, were all frankly creepy and seemed to have done well for the characters, while the trio of evil minions kicked up a riot with their riposte of “Boss, Soooper boss!” The dance numbers were all nicely executed and the costumes seem to have been meticulously designed. Barring the clichéd jokes and eye- candy characters, “Heroes” is intermittently fun and entertaining.

Madhumitha is a B.E. (EEE) graduate.

Keywords: play review