Monday, February 16, 2015

Fulloketur Pala - Review of a play by Bohurupee

Fulloketur Pala, is the latest production by the renowned Kolkata-based theater group Bohurupee ,that was founded by the legendary thespian Shombu Mitra decades ago.

Based on one of the two stories of Chondimongol Kabyo, a popular literary heritage of Bengal dated as far back as 15th-16th century, it narrates the story of a hunter, who by divine grace & order to help poor people in the kingdom, becomes a king of Gujar where his first decree was to denounce killing of animals in the forest. Soon he orders  clearing of forest land for cultivation & declares that food so produced will be his weapon. The neighboring king of Kalinga, on knowing about absence of real weapons in Gujar’s army, decides to attack Gujar and imprisons the king. But the king is freed by his subjects , cultivators and simple people, who use whatever implements they find in home as weapons.

The storyline is simple and about simple people talking about a secular culture that existed in the 15th century Bengal, influenced largely by Vaishnava cult of Sri Chaitanya. Hence it becomes that much more difficult for thespians of today’s complex world to depict scenes  & articulate lines in a tribal dialect. But Bohurupee’s Debesh Chowdhury and his co-actors do a fantastic job in staging the ancient narrative  at a pace that is suitable for the modern world. Choreographed dance with background songs , as in Jatrapala , not only keep the rhythm of the play flowing in between scenes but also depict beautifully & subtly the simple lifestyles of the adivasis .

The quality of the play thus lie in embroidering continuously  fine elements of acting on the canvas of excellent group-work throughout the play. Bohurupee continues to maintain some minimum excellence in all its productions . Fullaketur Pala is a must-watch  for anyone interested to enjoy a fine & quintessential  Bengali play in Kolkata.     

JAS Rating : 8 out of 10   

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