Amar Photo Studio; undoubtedly is one of the finest play seen in long time. Too many reasons for it being not one of the best but the ultimate best play in recent times. Nor does the poster nor the title of the play gives you a slightest hint about the play, but when you are in for it you experience the best possible entertainment for little more than two hours. The play has the potential to cheer you up. Saying that, you know Amar Photo Studio is not that play which preaches you some messages by the end of it but is a pure entertainer in best possible way.
Amar Photo Studio has almost everything that is required for a successful play. Performances are top notch, writing is engaging and direction is exceptional. These three aspects are found in any other play as well, but Amar Photo Studio also has song and dance which make your experience even more enjoyable. Every single person in the audience will find themselves somewhere in this Amar Photo Studio, that’s where the play wins you over. You leave the theater with a bright smile on your face and happiness all around you. Right from the start you are in for a great joyride.
Performances being the highlight of Amar Photo Studio, leaves you in question as to who was better than whom. Every single actor is nothing short of brilliance. Suvrat Joshi is simply outstanding. His act as today’s boy can be related to very easily. The variations in that itself are beautifully performed by him and also his act as a 70’s writer is very well performed. Sakhi Gokhale is definition of a power house of energy. There is no match to her energy on stage. She simply shines out in the scenes where she is overjoyed and dancing madly. Amey Wagh; taking his name seriously and he is indeed the tiger in the entire cast. He is highly versatile, his characters are well written and Amey has performed them exceptionally well. He is genuinely out of this world in all his characters; be it an old man, a hippy as refereed in the play or a cinema legend. His performance is nuanced. Pooja Thombre is a delight to watch. Her 1940’s act is the best part of her performance. She is genuine as an activist and cute as an old lady. Siddhesh Purkar has a limited role but he nails it in his every single scene. Like Amey his performance is also nuanced. His best act being Pooja’s co-star. Performance wise Amar Photo Studio deserves double thumbs up.
Amar Photo Studio may not have a great story as such, but Manasvini’s writing is the strongest factor of the play. Her writing makes a simple story extraordinary. It is very difficult to make an ordinary boy-girl story standout from the others but Manasvini has successfully managed to do so. The time travel twist is the best part of the story where things unfold. Story of Amar Photo Studio is something which contemporary generation might be going through or some may have experienced it at some stage in their life. Even if one has not gone through anything that happens to the protagonists in the play, every single person irrespective of the generation they belong to will relate to everything in the play. The credit for this goes to Manasvini’s thoughtful writing. Play has some well written dialogues which makes you think, react to it and also laugh at it. The humor quotient of the play is extremely high and that makes you want to watch Amar Photo Studio again and again. The dialogues may be cliched but the situation make them funny.
Nipun Dharmadhikari, the man behind executing Manasvini’s impressive writing is a perfect example of sheer brilliance. He makes Amar Photo Studio lively with his directorial skills. He knows his actors exceptionally well which is clearly visible on stage. Every single performance makes you feel that he or she was the right choice for that particular character. The pre climax scene where spotlight keeps on shifting from one situation to another is mind blowing. The scene before that where Suvrat is seen in double avatar gives you goosebumps. Sakhi’s emotional scene with Amey makes your heart weep and their canteen scene where Sakhi blasts out her frustration makes you clap. Pooja’s heroine act make you fall in love with her innocence. Similarly Siddhesh’s style of an actor from pre independence is noteworthy. It’s all Nipun’s hard work to get out the better than the best from his actors. Most importantly the way time travel aspect of the play is revealed by Nipun is commendable.
Talking about the rest, Pradeep Mulaye’s production design is ordinary. Background score need not be exceptional considering the performance of the actors. They don’t need a great background score to make the scene more impactful, their performances do so. Costumes in the play were prominent and worth praising. Lighting of the play was simple like any other. Music of the play was highly impressive, especially 1940’s version of Honey Singh’s chaar bottle vodka. Also the song that shows basic magic tricks is thoroughly enjoyable. The play is very funny, it does dip a bit in the second half where things get serious but that does not spoil the fun.
Overall Amar Photo Studio is a must watch play. One cannot afford to miss it at any cost. This one appeals to everyone. One word to describe Amar Photo Studio technically would be flawless and other wise it would be a pure entertainer. This is one of those rare play which you feel like watching again and again.After struggling a lot did not find a single thing in the play to criticize about, hence this rating.