Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Me, Kash and Cruise

It isn’t often that you come across a play that tells you your own story, or at least gets as close to it as ‘Me, Kash & Cruise’ did. It really isn’t just my story or the story of the three characters on stage, but of everyone who has ever lived in this city.
Rahul DaCunha’s play is about the journey of a city through the lives of these three people who inhabit it- Puja Thomas, Rajesh Kashyap and Pervez Bin Khan. Spanning a period of over twenty years, the play takes the audience on a trip down the average Mumbaikar’s memory lane- through the riots, the blasts, the Ganpati visarjans and the traffic jams.
The four actors on stage- Yamini Namjoshi (Puja), Amit Mistry(Cruise), Neil Bhoopalan (Kash) and Rajit Kapoor (umm…well, the spirit of the city) tell their tale in a sort of unorthodox format. The stage is 3-tiered, joined by stairs and the scenes shift from one level to another. A sort of a representative technique- Brechtian maybe? Whatever it maybe, ‘Me, Kash & Cruise’ is intimidating, endearing and definitely moving.
Amit Mistry- the most dynamic of them all, both in role and performance- steals the show. Yamini Namjoshi and Neil Bhoopalan do a fairly decent job; Rajit Kapoor is admirable by the range of roles he plays from a pimp to a psychiatrist. The script itself is strong- sewn together well with in-your-face hinglish dialogues. The humour is what can be called ‘just right’- not too slapstick, not too intelligent. A fair bit of sarcasm and a couple of jabs at politics. One of the remarkable aspects of ‘Me, Kash & Cruise’ is it’s take on religion. The three main characters belong to different religions. The difference isn’t too pronounced, yet not completely masked. Somewhat like the city itself- with the exception of riots of course. The stage dynamics, however, are the most interesting part of the play. Not only do the levels represent a physical shift in the scene, but also represent the mood of the story at that juncture.
Rahul Dacunha brings Mumbai on to the stage- living, breathing, laughing and crying through the lives it touches. Almost every Mumbaikar on the stage, in the audience, in the world, can identify with the characters and the Mumbai within them, within us.


Maithili Desai said...

Funnily, I just googled the play and landed straight at your blog..... Thanks for having taken us for this one Disha, It is the best play I've seen..!!

Gandhi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gandhi said...

The play is alright but maybe they should think about correcting the glaring historical anachronisms. Play begins in 1984 (the year Indira Gandhi was assassinated) and the title character Cruise is humming the Tom Cruise's Top Gun theme song which came out two years later in 1986!
In the same scene, Cruise also talks about Shahrukh his friend and the famous TV actor whereas Shahrukh did not make his TV acting debut till 1988!
Maybe they should shift the beginning year of the play to 1989 as there really is no contextual significance of the year 1984.