Theatre

Passed with flying colours

INTENSE: Paritchaikku Naeramachu.Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

INTENSE: Paritchaikku Naeramachu.Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

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A stellar cast, with Y. Gee Mahendra in the lead, brings back the magic of ‘Paritchaikku Neramachu.’

A successful play of the late 1970s, ‘Paritchaikku Neramachu’ continued its winning streak as a film. Y. Gee Mahendra (YGM) has revived it for the stage after three decades with minor changes. Produced by UAA, in association with Shriram Properties, the play was inaugurated at Vani Mahal under the auspices of Bharat Kalachar and ABBAS this past Sunday.

YGM dons the role of Narasimhachari (earlier enacted by Y. G. Parthasarathy on stage and ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan on celluloid). An artist of high calibre, YGM carries off the role with ease. Incidentally, he played the son in the earlier versions. Kudos to S.K. Rajendran, his make-up person. The tuft and tirumann lend authenticity to the character.

The serious theme, dramatised and directed by YGM, is interspersed with funny moments. Raghav Balaji as Varadhukutty, a naïve teen in the first half, and as a history sheeter, Anand, in the second, is a good find.

Narasimhachari, a straight forward Government servant, tries his best to get his son Varadukutty a job in his office. His efforts to influence his manager, played efficiently by K. R. Jayakumar, by satisfying the gourmet in him, are in vain. The boy has to pass an exam and the father even offers a bribe for the question paper. Nothing works.

Undeterred, Narasimhachari trains his ward day and night for the exam and the day arrives. Fate intervenes and the boy is killed while crossing the road to reach the exam centre. The director uses the scene from the film here. Good thought. YGM makes a poignant picture, sitting in the middle of the road and lamenting in sorrow.

Narasimhachari’s wife Vedha (T.S. Anandhi) goes into a state of shock. Yet another commendable performance by this veteran, who puts her heart and soul into the role.

Chased by the police, petty thief Anand, a double of Varadukutty, lands in Narasimhachari’s house. On seeing him, Vedha recovers. Narasimhachari’s response to the situation and his plans take the drama forward.

The climax has an interesting twist and a happy ending unlike the earlier versions.

Ragothama Rao (Balaji), his wife Subhadra (Brinda) and their son Bhima Rao (Suppini) as the Kannada-Tamil speaking neighbours, offer comic relief without hampering the play’s smooth flow.

‘Padma Stage’ Kannan impresses with his scenes and sets. Kalai Ravi (lights and sound) deserves special mention for the moonlit scenes. Alex’s background score takes you to the good old days of the small orchestra. Noteworthy was his theme that uses raga Brindavan’s scale, in the montage where Narasimhachari trains his son. A stellar performance from YGM and his co-stars do not lag behind either.

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Printable version | Nov 13, 2019 1:24:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/passed-with-flying-colours/article6422728.ece

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