“I am a common man sir, I don’t know English but surely I know to trust a doctor,” says the second lead essayed by the director of ‘Antim Apraadh’, a Gujarati play which has won several accolades and bagged 7 Awards by Chitralekha. Set against the backdrop of a thriller, ‘Antim Apraadh’ nevertheless is based on the blind faith patients invest in doctors. The aforementioned dialogue reiterates this fact that in India, doctors are revered as gods.
The play’s protagonist is a professional killer who happens to meet a ‘common man’ in jail who has surrendered himself to the police in a hit-and-run case, taking the entire blame for a crime committed by his employer’s son (Reminiscent of Arvind Adiga’s bestseller ‘The White Tiger’ or the recently released wonderful film ‘Jolly LLB’).
An ice-breaker conversation leads to an unusual bond between the two and eventually land them in a similar circumstance in a hospital after they both are diagnosed with cancer. At this juncture, the professional killer is offered a ‘supaari’ to kill someone and despite having decided to mend his way, he is compelled to take up this offer, his last crime, hence ‘Antim Apraadh’.
What ensues is not only unpredictable, but also something that reflects bitter truths our times where doctors have become businessmen and surgeons have turned ‘exporters’, literally. Interestingly, the actor/director of ‘Antim Apraadh’ is an advocate and the writer is a doctor by profession, hence they are able to brew a perfect concoction of crime and medical science replete with graphic details in the writing – something which shows in each scene of ‘Antim Apraadh’.
‘Antim Apraadh’ is a play worth watching purely for its amazing performance of Linesh Fanse as the professional killer and director/actor Viral Rachch as the common man (He is spectacular in both comedy as well as emotional scenes).
The actors, be it Linesh Fanse, Viral Rachch, Titiksha Pandya, Chirag Mehta, Deven Rathod, Jugta Dave, Jayesh Pandya or Siddhraj, do complete justice to the well-written dialogues which are simple, yet profound. Take a bow Dr. Raish Maniyar, the writer of ‘Antim Apraadh’. It is indeed commendable of producers like Tejal Rawal, Sheela Butala and presenters like veteran play director PS Chari and Triveni Arts for bringing such meaningful plays to Vadodara. Thanks Aditi Rindani for recommending this wonderful play.