JournaStage - Episode 1 - Auto

JournaStage recommends ‘AUTO’ 

The name of the Production is ‘Auto’, based on Nabarun Bhattacharya’s novel name ‘Auto’.

Adapted and directed by Koushik Kar.

Presented by Kolkata Rongila.

In cast- Koushik Kar as Chandan.

Tannishtha Biswas as Mala.

Gambhira Bhattacharya as Viki.

Satrajit Sarkar as Irfan

JournaStage recommends ‘AUTO’ [Courtesy: Kolkata Rangeela/Facebook]
JournaStage recommends ‘AUTO’ [Courtesy: Kolkata Rangeela/Facebook]

The play is based on a novel by Nabarun Bhattacharya, in which he yarns the story of class struggle, the story of the sinful and the deprived people. Here, Irfan's character tells Chandan, the protagonist, about the class struggle but an apolitical Chandan does not comprehend its profound intricacy. But rather, unknowingly, this leads to his sexual dysfunction from distress within himself. So, it analyses how we perceive about the lower class? The advent of the problem of Chandan’s character, traversing in a reverse direction signifies a strong metaphor, which we consider to be the success of this play.

In the city, an auto driver suddenly stuck in a mishap on a road. After that what happened in the lives of the people who are present at that moment or what happened in the life of that auto driver? No one is curious to know? This story is a reflection of class struggle and the pangs of human existence.

Nabarun Bhattacharya [Courtesy: ODDJOINT & Dey's Publishing]
Nabarun Bhattacharya [Courtesy: ODDJOINT & Dey's Publishing]

The story begins with the scene where many people are drinking in front of Irfan’s Asmaan Tara Hotel, Chandan is also there. He then goes into the flashback. Where we see, he lost his father in childhood and consequently, he has to earn a living. At one time, he played football but due to lack of money, he did not become a player instead become an auto driver. Then he had a family, his wife, Mala with whom he shares a blissful life. But still he misses one soul, his mother. 

The story stays to be in a non-linear mode.

The exhibition of this production is phenomenal. Every aspect of this play has been constructed with sharp theatre acumen.

In the opening scene, the song “Koi hum dum na raha” portrays the vulnerable character of Chandan. There’s a scene when Chandan converses with his auto and scours up the dirt. The auto in response slightly blinks its headlight, which signifies his auto respond to him. This generates a sense of Magic Realism, the co-existence of both the real world and the fantasy realm. The term ‘Magic Realism’ was first used in the art world by German critic Franz Roh in 1925 and later by Cuban author Alejo Carpentier in 1949. 

In mob violence scene the director uses slow motion technique to show the violence with proper blend of sound, lighting and acting. The department of light did a great job on stage.

Sound work has been a pitch-perfect. Including, the set design and props selection and placement, which lifted the production to another level. On one side of the stage, the set was based on Asmaan Tara Hotel and another side placed his personal life’s sets and the middle of the stage had an Auto’s structure. That auto is the transition section of his flashback and present situation and the actor passes through the Auto.

Kaushik as Chandan has charmed his audience well, by his physique. At one point, he shows he is an athlete but his bent shoulders also signify of a distraught soul. Meanwhile, when his sexual craving arouses the auto’s headlights flicker with a sound. 


Souvik Paul

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