Amar Photo Studio

Someone needs to do to Marathi Commercial Theater what Christopher Nolan did to the Batman movies. Make it grow up.

Don’t get me wrong. Amar Photo Studio is a good play. It is innovative in it’s story line and fun in the usual Marathi kind of way (slapstick and puns). All the actors do a stunning job (though Suvrat Joshi is too squeaky and irritating sometimes). But it suffers from two huge gaping holes. And unfortunately they are in the two most important departments.

Let’s take direction. Characters are made screamingly loud. Blocking is ordinary. You get a feeling that the actors are moving around the stage just to say their dialogs. The stage setup is stuck in probably the 1950s. A brilliant guy like Nipun Dharmadhikari could have surely done something much better. I think he got stuck into the ‘commercial theater’ mindset. Where everything must be loud and easy. Like prime time news. No nuance allowed. Also, what is with the actors coming down to distract the audience while the set is changed? Seriously? We are not babies. We understand the need for a set change and would gladly sit tight through it instead of being cajoled with dance and music.

And why do commercial plays have to be so verbose? Why do the writers keep underestimating the audience? We don’t need dialogs like ‘eka kshanat ek yug jagu shakto’. We have understood the theme a while back. Also, political commentary is still stuck in the rich versus poor and politician verses common man dichotomy. A writer of the caliber of Manasvini could perhaps have had a more sophisticated take on the socio-economic facts of life.

This might sound like a bad review but it is because we expect a lot from this bunch. If only they could break the box.

Keep it coming guys.