Posts Tagged ‘stage-play’

Reservoir dogs, anyone?

No not the movie, I’m referring to the stage-play half-movie-half-play half-home-video-half-talk-show by ASAP playing in Chennai this weekend. It was a rather interesting attempt to bring a video footage on screen – nice try guys, but it didn’t work. I’m not a great critic and all – but hey this is my thoughts on your screen – just take what you want. So here’s my comprehensive review on what I feel made the performance, err, just about average.

The stage. You guys got the museum theatre in Chennai to run your show. The place is beautiful: air conditioned, with wonderful acoustics and a nice big stage. Use the darned stage, even if you didn’t have a prop to put up. The lighting was hardly on the players – I really don’t know why Mr. Blonde was forever in the dark leaving the audience to keep guessing which part of the theatre he was in.

The video. Oh come on! We came in to watch a stage-play: some live action. Yes, there was some gun firing, blood oozing, and head slapping (well executed in fact). But when the flyers said that it was an 80:20::stage:cinema thing, I thought you guys had action packed sequences filled with stunts. However, all I saw was casual home/office/roadway conversations that could have been performed on-stage.

The opening video. I couldn’t make out if it was a promo or some opening advertisement or something. Four guys at a hotel discussing tipping waitresses – I personally found it totally irrelevant. If it had more to it, I’m sorry it was just beyond my level. The font used for titling was awful, and the camera kept shaking. Ever heard of what a tripod is?!

Sound editing & language. This is supposed to fall within the video heading, but it was big enough to be discussed separately. What was your idea behind muting all unparliamentary language?

  1. It didn’t censor whatever you attempted to censor. The muting was like how they used to do it in WWF (yes, while it was still WWF), “why can’t you part with your f*cking <beep> money?”
  2. If you were planning on censoring the language, why use it in the first place?! But this is more of a general theatre-group directed question: do you have to be so harsh while you’re up on stage/recording-a-video? Every f*cking word is preceded and followed by a f*cked up swear. I see you want to exercise your freedom of stage-speech, but it’s just stupid to swear every two words. Am I not right, a*hole?
  3. Lousy sound editing on your videos – too much background usually, making what the artists spoke incomprehensible, or too jarring. If possible, run a separate re-recording session. Even better – do away with playing a video.

The characters. Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown . . . totally out of sync with Ram and all the other Indianized names you had up there. Either pick pachai, manjal, etc. or something on those lines. Everyone was speaking peter English though (esp. Michael Muthu – loved his accent) – so I suppose bringing in Indian names didn’t really help.

The genre. Humour? Not really – one of the guys was being funny at times (the one with the ponytail, talking on being professionals). Tying the cop to the chair was funny – don’t know if it were intended though. Action? Perhaps – there was some kicking around on stage, there was some gun firing (very well executed), some blood oozing (equally wonderfully timed), fighting once in a while. Slapping that cop on the head was nicely done. But that video on the cop-fight was pretty poor, and the play never lived up to the action-drama it claimed to be. And those two cops discussing their drug-snatching while Mr. ?! went to pee was fabulous – loved the language! Overall, I feel that had you guys included romance in part (that psycho guy jumping on the cop was pretty BDSM-gay kinds), it would’ve been a perfect Bollywood masala flick!

The media-people. You had NDTV covering your performance?! And unfortunately, the camera guy they brought along didn’t know he wasn’t to be flashing light at the audience. I don’t really know if you are to blame for it, and it’s cool if I got to be on TV (yes I was the idiot waving at him – I thought I was asking him to turn it off, don’t know how he interpreted that as though). The computers you used to play your videos from should have been shut except when required or at least covered from the rest of the lot inside the theatre. It was very distracting and yes, annoying.

I did like several parts of your play though, especially your concluding remark: “if you liked the play, tell your friends; if you didn’t, tell your enemies.” Either way you make your business. 😛 Ashes felt your play lived up to how it were in the movie, but I haven’t seen QT’s Reservoir dogs yet. And assuming you guys put in a whole deal of effort to put this up, I’d like to say that you still have a long way to go. Good luck!


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