Theatre

‘A1Vedhalam’ kept the audience riveted

What if there is nothing called death? Or if everyone lives up to 100? What if diseases disappear? The restlessness of a man, who refuses to accept the sudden demise of his mother, takes him into labyrinths of fantasy. An engineer by profession, he visualises a situation, where the brain can sense the onset of a disease, which can be neutralised immediately.

Ignoring the explanations of his wife and father-in-law on the inevitability of death and how it is essential and the high philosophy that goes with it — the engineer has turned atheist and sneers at the concepts of god and divinity — he goes ahead and invents a chip, which when implanted in the brain, will make it super-efficient and hypersensitive.

A doctor friend (Legally Yours Sathish) jumps on board to do the surgery. But, who will be the subject of this experiment?

The engineer zeroes in on the half-wit domestic help, who depends on this family for food and shelter. So the operation takes place and who, rather what, returns from the hospital is a highly intelligent version, not only matching the engineer step for step but challenging him. A chain of catastrophic events follows, proving the Augmented Intelligence Vedhalam (A1Vedhalam) to be the proverbial Frankenstein Monster. The engineer cannot dismount this tiger without risking his life. Does he escape unscathed?

The twist in the end makes the getting-ready-to-leave audience sit up. But they have to set aside questions, which pop up now and then.

For instance, why does the engineer not end the experiment by giving the necessary command when he realises that he is being outsmarted?

With a single set (Mohan Babu) and three main characters, ‘A1Vedhalam’ keeps the audience riveted, thanks to the off-beat storyline. Arunkumar, who has written the story, dialogue and directed the play, also acts as the engineer. The sorrow of a son and the arrogance of a ‘creator’ are well communicated by him.

Deeptha Pattabhiram as his down-to-earth wife echoes some of the thoughts of the viewer.

The acting honours, however, belongs to R. Giridharan, who is the dumbo-turned-Devil. With his body language and delivery, he brings alive the super-human concept and reminds his ‘maker’ that man himself is an alien on this planet.

Mano Lighting makes sure that viewing is not a strain. The play has been produced for Theatre Marina by Keerthi Mariappan.

A prelude

Anyone reaching the hall well ahead of the first bell was in for a surprise. A team of four, two of them with musical instruments, walked in and entertained the gathering with the mikeless singing of Tamil hit songs. R. Ravi Kumar, musician-composer and an employee of a software company, strummed the guitar supported creates magic by plucking the guitar strings equally supported on the vocals by Dilip Kumar, actor-producer and an employee of an automobile. company and Karthick Mohan, writer-director and an IT professional, sang along. They joined the TheatreMarina troupe as actors and musicians. Giridharan, director, came up with the idea of a jamming session before the play. Dakshin, who provided support with his melodica that evening, is a recent addition.

‘A1Vedhalam’ kept the audience riveted

“This is a way to attract viewers and keep them engaged,” said Keerthi Mariappan, an IT professional. And he has more up his sleeve. Winners of a luckydip were entitled to watch the plays hosted by Theatre Marina all round the year. “Stage is my passion and I want to keep doing things that will bring more people to theatre,” he said.


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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:19:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/a1-vedhalam-a-good-entertainer/article25122913.ece

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