Story: Basil Sylvester Pinto | 16th June 2017, 04:59 Hrs
Acclaimed for his inimitable tragic roles, Mario Menezes for his poignant performance in Rosario Rodrigues’ ‘Fulam ani Kolle’ (1985) earned himself the sobriquet of the ‘Tragedy King of Konkani Stage’ by the then MLA and former Mayor of Panaji, Francisco Branco.
The much celebrated tiatr artiste while endearing himself to the tiatr mogis with his riveting stage roles, has been also showered similar affection by the masses for writing and directing thought-provoking Konkani dramas through the years.
In a tryst to break from the mould of staging family-oriented tiatrs, with a few exceptions like Padri Mogan Podlo, Kaide Konak Keilat, Goa Bandh, with his forthcoming release this Sunday, Mario Menezes has attempted a different theme.
With his 45th tiatr, Dev Konn? Hindu, Kristanv Vo Musolman, the Director known for his continuous hits, endeavors to tackle communalism with judicious judgment. “In a secular country like India, communalism has spread like anything. Churches, crosses, temples, masjids are being destroyed. Everybody is doing this in the name of religion, but who is God?” This is the pertinent question the director tries to answer. “Is He a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian? Everyone thinks that his God is supreme. The answer lies in the tiatr,” Mario asserts.
Through the tiatr, Mario puts forth before the audience the Goa that was known for its communal harmony which was widespread across the world. “But does this communal harmony exist now? If not why?,” he questions. While stating that he is not criticizing any particular individual, Mario maintains that he is only putting forward the malicious intention of the individual who wants to disturb the communal harmony of India. “If India has to be the number one nation in the world, all communities need to work cohesively together,” Mario affirmed.
The story is set in a village where there was communal harmony. But to break the communal harmony for their ugly gain, politicians intervene and use the name of religion as a pretext. Do they succeed or not is to be seen? The answer to such a predicament unfolds in the end.
In the tiatr, elections fervor is also witnessed. “Nowadays, elections are going communal. Money power plays its part. Who should we elect? With this sort of elections, will it lead India to a proper direction? You have to watch my tiatr to know further,” Mario adds. The director promises that the audience will get the best of songs (15 in all) in performance and variety with talented artistes lending their vocal chords through solos, duets, comedy duets, trio and quartet. Lawry Travasso, Marcus Vaz, Xavier Gomes, Tony de Ribandar, Rosy Alvares, PeteRoshan, Jr. Reagan, Rioma promise to engage the audience with songs on prevailing social and political issues.
There will be comedy songs as well sung by artistes like Humbert, Selvy, Janet and Bryan. Top comedians like Humbert, Agostinho, Selvy, Janet and Bryan will guarantee to have you on the edge of your seats with splits of laughter. With Dev Konn? Hindu, Kristanv Vo Musolman Mario Menezes’ has introduced a new concept. For the very first time, there is an elaborate village set-up unlike in other tiatrs where most scenes are enacted in a house or flat. There will be homes belonging to various faiths as Christianity, Hindu and Islam and religious structures as crosses and tulas would be prominently seen. There will be benches around a peepal tree where villagers have their meetings.
(The tiatr releases on June 18, 3.30 pm, RB, Vasco, followed by shows on June 19, 7.30 pm, Kala Academy, Panaji and June 20, 3.30 pm, Pai Tiatrist Hall, Margao)