Aamar Sohor (My City) – A cinematic presentation of an original play

Posted by Kaahon Desk On August 2, 2019

If I ask you what sets theatre apart from cinema, your first and foremost answer would probably be that theatre is a live medium. We see actual people walking around in front of our eyes. The spirit that is created onstage by the performers reaches the audience directly. Hence, a good production arouses the spectators emotionally and turns it into a wholesome experience for them. Even a film could become an experience but the language of cinema as another medium is entirely different. Every medium has its own approach of mesmerizing people, however, their expression is precisely medium-specific. Each art form own possesses its own technique of creating its language, application, and illusions. Therefore, one must be very cautious while using the language of one medium in another.

Previous Kaahon Theatre Review:

This discussion is important in the current era because a new trend has crept into the realm of Bengali theatre – to make theatre cinematic. But here, we aren’t concerned in discussing whether it’s a wise trend or a foolish one. The focus is on whether the trend is necessary. Although it might be a subjective matter of discussion, a spectator can decipher how essential it is to the play he/she has just watched. Quite a few films, like Twelve Angry Men, have retained a dramatic style in order to cater to technical requirements. The sad part is that cinematic elements are being inculcated within theatrical productions simply to offer the audience an experience of cinematic entertainment. The cinematic experience offered by theatre can never reach up to the level of the one offered by cinema itself. Thus, the theatre production, which could have been remarkable with the use of theatrical elements, falls into a state of disarray when it tries to be cinematic. It doesn’t offer anything to the audience that only a theatre production could have.

A relatively new theatre group Natyajan has come up with their latest production ‘Aamar Sohor’ (My City). Under the guidance of Bratya Basu, the group is being led on by Shubhajit Biswas. He is also the writer and director of this particular play. The production has strained to be extremely cinematic albeit unnecessarily. Apart from the animated title credit in the beginning and the title song, throughout the play the use of lights, sound, and space, scene division and scenography keep reminding us of the art of cinema. Probably, the director intended to create a film on stage. Even though their mentor Bratya Basu likes being cinematic onstage in few of his recent productions (but) with a purpose created by himself (probably with of his immense knowledge and experience), and unfortunately that very purpose seemed to lack here in this case of the production under discussion. A new group with fresh theatre lovers is expected to produce plays that are more inclined to theatre as a medium of expression.

Bazimatt – A confusion with the source text; sign of dishonesty in Bengali theatre

One thing that must be praised is that the drama, the text is an original one (and not a “based on” or “inspired from” text) revolving around the daily political bustle, affairs of the citizens, ignorance of politicians and a sense of revolt coming from a young-blooded soul. As first time performers, most of the actors tried to do their best. Ayan Dutta and Prantik Chowdhury have attempted to spontaneously pull off the characters of the two protagonists. Above all, probably because they’re beginners, they have reflected through their production a desire to strive for better theatre; something that is slowly disappearing in relatively older and popular theatre groups. These productions comprising a few weaknesses might be a lot more deserving to be in the sphere of Bengali theatre than the pointless, arrogant and seemingly famous ones. As an audience we must support the ventures taken up by these new theatre groups. We should encourage them while letting them know their strengths or weaknesses. Someday they could be the ones to show a newly found path to Bengali theatre.


Ebong Ipsita
A Kolkata based theatre practitioner, she has been doing theatre from 2005 and now she is co-directing and adapting plays for different theatre groups in Bengal. She believes to explore the web medium as well to express herself to the world.

Translation- Kankabati Banerjee

Read this review in Bengali.

বাংলাতে পড়তে ক্লিক করুন।

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