Play Review – Zoon – Noor Kashmir ka Rating – 3.5 Stars
What the play is all about?
Set in two eras, Zoon is a dramatic Hindi re-interpretation of the true story of Habba Khatoun, the nightingale of Kashmir. The play manages to encapsulate the current topical scenario in Kashmir and highlights the travails of the locals.
What we liked about the play?
The overall storyline is an impressive one, which somehow loses control of the audiences grip. The production values are top-notch with due credits to costume designer Nakul Sen and set designer Meenal Agarwal. These two departments have excelled in elevating the grandeur of the play to penultimate levels. Be it the grand entry of King Akbar (with his glorious robe) or the exotic scene transitions, the overall effect is mesmerizing for sure.
The acting of most actors is exemplary. The usage of live music (already seen in the play Mosambi Narangi recently) adds that extra edge. Music by Sh. Krishen Langoo and his entire team requires a round of applause for sure.
What could have been better?
The story-telling in the first half surely had a juxtaposed, complicated and confusing version. Audiences inadvertently waited for some major change to set the story rolling and gain momentum but the script failed. Although the story is about Habba Khatoun, there are few melodies that are soul-stirring. Too many parallel sub-plots (between the eras) made it a tedious watch.
What we surely noticed was that seasoned theatre actors who were invited, made an exit post the interval.
Writer / Director review:
Purva Naresh has a fabulous plot which evokes emotions in the climax but somehow the story-telling could have been crispier, so also the scenes of Zoon. On the direction front, the acting performances were perfect and the overall impact (based on the grandeur) was acceptable.
Ipshita Chakraborty Singh, who played Zoon is brilliant and natural in her performance. Somehow the character fleshing fills a gap for the audiences to actually fall in love with the character she portrays.
Harsh Khurana, who played Zahoor, outshined his role with the dramatic variations. He also held forte with suitable ease when his microphone gave way. Loved his performance in the climax scenes.
Asheish Nijhawan as Yusuf ambles through with perfect ease…into your heart. Amazing persona and credible charisma.
Vivek Kumar as the soldier retains the perfect poise and body language of an army man. His brilliance shimmers in his breakdown scene in the climax.
#AryemanSaysSo – This play can surely be a blockbuster if it is tweaked in the right pockets to keep the audiences engrossed with some crisp story-telling.