Rochnnar the latest production from John D’Silva is a good idea that unfortunately lost its direction in the implementation as a result of which leaves one a little disappointed particularly as it comes from John D’Silva acknowledged to be one of the intelligent tiatrist of Konkani stage.
The tiatr is quite novel as it is a love different kind of a love story, a story of God’s love for mankind. That God is forgiving and never lets down those who believe in him is shown through the events in the life of Dr. Melvyn a renowned surgeon who does not believe in the existence of God.
How he comes to believe in God after first using people’s blind faith in God to his advantage forms the rest of the plot of the tiatr.
The cast has done an excellent job with the roles assigned to them and Joe as Dr. Melvyn is truly believable. He has a unique voice that is quite well suited for the role though it is not that good for singing. Roma as his wife Ria and Peter de Pedda as his friend Nickson are the perfect foil for the scientific tempered doctor. Mita as the television personality Savita who is also used for the comedy sequences does full justice to her role. The supporting cast member Anthony San, Elvis de Sinquetim are good though S Lemos tends to overact.
However, it is the comedy that is disappointing as it just does not match up with John D’Silva’s earlier brilliance particularly given the fact that John himself is an acknowledged comedian. In fact, John essays the role of Salvador the driver which while being a comic role also tries to be philosophical and therein lies the fault. Benhur and Jonas the two youngsters (sons of John and Joe respectively) used for comedy are quite comfortable on the stage, but it appears that John has either taken his audience for granted or suffered from a writer’s block given the fact that he was writing something different.
Rochnnar is presented in a tiatr form with solos and duets mingling with the plot. A special mention has to be made of S Lemos song on the life of a person as it is truly vintage Konkani singing complete with the tremble in the voice. Benhur and Jonas belt out a song on life of a student, which went down quite well with the public but John’s encores for his song appeared to be stage managed. The duet by Anthony San and Roma was a beautifully structured song with masterful mixing of singing and talking making it truly a treat.
As mentioned earlier, John appears to be taking his audience for granted as on the technical side, the tiatr had quite a few lapses. Music by Philip de Sanvordem was alright but there were no flashes of brilliance in it. Although A P Rojols did try special effects for the cantos of the tiatr, his spotlights were mismatched specially the strobe lights for the opening chorus. A major disappointment was the sets by Saldanha as there was scope to be different but not utilized. For example Mita interviewing Joe for television could have been done to resemble a television set in a drawing room or the studio, but was not done.
However, the religious jingoism in this show produced by S B Arts went quite well with the audience known for their blind faith.