Six – A clichéd plot with a wonderful presentation
So what’s actually worse? Being physically and emotionally abused in public or being a ‘friend’ of the person who turns his back on you; (willingly or because of some inhibitions) when you’re helplessly going through that humiliation?
What’s worse? Having all the possible luxury in the world and being surrounded by pseudo people or achieving all your dreams? Inspite if you get a feeling that you’re just a puppet controlled by everyone around you, then what?
A lot of questions like these clutch your mind while watching Six – A play directed by Jeff Goldberg; an adaptation of A Midnight Clear by L.B. Hamilton. In a way, a very clichéd story, especially for an Indian LGBT scenario – gay men who do not end up together as one of them gets married to a girl owing to the societal pressure. Nevertheless, it does stand out because of the way it’s presented.
Siddharth Tehriyani (Suhail Sidhwani) an owner of an IPL team, and Rahul Sharma (Prateik Babbar) a star player of the team come face to face when Rahul comes to see Siddharth. He learns from his friend that Siddharth has encountered a serious tragedy.
The characters slowly start revealing hidden layers of their personalities, portraying the various aspects of being homosexual in a conservative society. Suhail Sidhwani passionately shows the immense pain that Siddharth is going through, thanks to the powerful dialogues and his acting prowess. I’ve not seen him perform before, but his stage presence made me believe that he’s studied and practiced theatre a lot! Siddharth – a rich guy with no real people around, a strong guy who stands for himself, a guy who can fight the world, a guy that knows he’s a mess, but still makes you fall in love with him with his strong convictions, especially when he says – “I know I’m a mess, but I’m my mess and you don’t try to clear me up!”
While Prateik (the foremost reason I went to watch the play) played Rahul Sharma well with his body language & mannerisms perfectly suited for a gay man forcefully married to a girl! Almost half of his stage time, he had his hands folded and/ or covering his mouth, unable to speak. Though that was weird to watch, maybe that’s a symbolism for how life is for Rahul Sharma, and for that matter, all the other closeted gay men who cannot do or speak anything for themselves. There is no space carved out for them in the normative stereotypical heteronormative society existence. His crying seemed really fake, but Prateik perfectly portrayed a typical Indian boy who does things just because his parents / teachers / partners want him to! And let’s take a moment to thank his mother for his expressive eyes!
Being raised in a typical Marathi family, I’ve always been watching plays, but this was a really different experience with an intimate setting (around 50 people) that can be intimidating at times, a friendly foreword by the director, and an entire plot that happens just on a couch.
The overall experience was fulfilling and left me with a mind full of thoughts and questions.