Dadu Chaae Nati Chaae-Bengali Drama Review
Surojit Bandyopadhyay’s “Dadu Chaae Nati Chaae” is a nicely composed drama produced by Natyaranga under the able direction of Swapan Sengupta. The comedy drama with a strong moral undercurrent, exhibits the perfect blend of humour and solemn contemplation.
The play starts with Madhusudan Chattopadhyay, on octogenarian, recollecting the loving memories of his dead wife, Archana. In her memory, he still observes her death anniversary by arranging sumptuous food for the poor which is not at all approved by Arko, his grandson. Arko is a so called progressive young man and like his grandfather has chosen the profession of an English teacher. He is also in love with Debika, his colleague whose character blossoms marvelously as the play progresses.
The grandfather and the son-in-law can’t see eye to eye on any subject and so Haradhan and Atasi, parents to Arka, are always uncomfortably posed, trying to provide the much needed missing link in this apparently broad generation gap. Another important character that emerges is Gopal, the cunning family priest, who shrewdly instigates Madhusudan to perform a special ritual that he promises, will reincarnate Archana. The old man readily agrees and declares that if Archana is brought back, he will transfer the whole family property in her name.
This raises much hue and cry among the rest of the family members and finally Janardan, younger brother of Haradhan hits upon an apparently full proof plan to prevent the impending calamity. He along with his brother and sister-in-law, convinces Arka to ask Debika to pose as the reincarnated Archana so that the family property, when transferred to her, will again be handed over to the true heirs.
Debika agrees and thus begins a new drama to fool Madhusudan. But as she starts to play her part, she seems to be greatly influenced by the old man’s character and her mental peace is disturbed as she delves deep into the character which she plays.
What happens next will surprise everybody and will surely tickle the funny bone often enough and the audience will enjoy the climax immensely though it seemed somewhat predictable.
As to the acting, first of all, mention must be made of Debapriya Bandyopadhya playing as the young maid and Arun Bandyopadhyay as the family lawyer whose succinct and effective role produces roars of laughter. Chandan Bag as Gopal is fantastically comic, especially in the act of his bogus rituals during the reincarnation process while the assistant director, Partha Mukhopadhyay, playing the part of Haradhan, excels during his reminiscence of his mother. Anindita Bandyopadhya as Debika portrays her character magnificently and also her short dance sequences are wonderfully directed. Swapan Sengupta also is wonderful as Madhudusudan but his make-up seems to be less perfect than his acting as the face betrays the age that is to be actually reflected. Overall the whole performance with the crisp dialogues promises an enjoyable evening in this wet monsoon season in Calcutta.
Bangla Natok Review by Anirban De, CT Reporter, Calcutta.