Tuesday 10 October 2017

Mughal-E-Azam the majestical play

Recently I got a chance to watch the mystic play of "Mughal- E-Azam" which has been presented by NCPA and Shapoorji Pallonji Group However it happened so that one of my friend’s has got two tickets and she was looking for the companion to come along, So when asked I was more than happy to join in. Initially, I took it as any other play which I have seen in past but trust my words it was mammoth of play. Before I talk about the play let me share a bit background about "Mughal- E-Azam" a story.

"Mughal- E-Azam" was a blockbuster epic Indian movie that was released in 1960 after being for 7 years in the making and it broke all records at the box office after its release and shut the mouths of the skeptics. The movie starred Prithviraj Kapoor, Madhubala, Dilip Kumar and Durga Khote in the lead roles.It was directed by K. Asif and its soundtrack by Naushad consisting of 12 songs still evokes awe.It was the love story of Prince Salim and a maid girl Anarkali and it shook the very foundations of the Mughal sultanate.

The play "Mughal- E-Azam" has been directed by celebrated director Feroz Abbas Khan who has also directed Tumhari Amrita, Salgirah, Salesman Ramlal and Gandhi Viruddh Gandhi and many other famous plays etc. So you can imagine my excitements as well as curiosity as to how will Feroz Abbas Khan treat a story that is known to all and has already created records as a film.

The Cast of The play" Mughal- E-Azam”:

 Akbar - Nissar Khan              
Anarkali - Neha Sargam
Salim - Dhanveer Singh
Bahar  - Aashima Mahajan
Jodha  - Sonal Jha
Narrator /Sangtarash - Rajesh Jais
Maan Singh - Ram Bahadur Renu
Suraiya - Palvi Jaswal

The play is exactly the same as the movie. It is the story of the turbulent and passionate love of Prince Salim for a maid girl Nadira who was conferred the title of "Anarkali " by Emperor Akbar himself. The dialogues in the original movie were written by Kamal Amrohi, Wajahat Mirza, Ehsan Rizvi and Amanullah Khan. Feroz Khan has retained most of the original dialogues and when delivered by the artists with proper voice modulation and perfect diction. It created the ground for a stimulating performance. The original soul-stirring music by Naushad has been retained with the only change being live singing by the female artists and beautiful Kathak based choreography to accompany the songs. The technical direction, the Sound system, and the stage management were excellent. The background and foregrounds seamlessly and noiselessly would interchange creating a magical film like finesse on the stage. The actors were impressive in their performance and singing especially touched by Salim (Dhanveer Singh ) and Jodhabai (Sonal Jha ) and the singing of Anarkali (Neha Sargam ) was soul-stirring too.

Since the original dialogues have a lot of Urdu words, the director did well to include translations projected on the both side walls.

There were many high profile people who came to watch the play who kept coming late and scurrying for their seats even after 15-20 minutes of the start of the play. Since you cannot really see much of the facial expressions, the dialogues become much more important in a play. Also at some places, I felt that Akbar was not as prominent a force to imagine as in the original movie his performance could have been more influential.

A complete justice has been given to the original in terms of the splendor and lavish aura as in the movie.The same large scale and dazzling sets and beautiful costumes.

FINAL VERDICT - I rate it a 4.5/5  

The play recreates the magic of the bygone era.See it for its great Music, Dance, costumes and technical aspects.Even if you have seen the original multiple times you will still come back spellbound. A must watch for all!