Magic realism is a popular genre in art. It involves the use of magical elements in a story that has been set in a realistic space. Examples of this is seen in the 2006 Guillermo del Toro movie, Pan’s Labyrinth, where the worlds of fantasy and reality collide. Similarly, Salman Rushdie’s book, Midnight’s Children, explored magical realism with the use of telepathy. Instances of this genre are rarely seen in plays, but Yuki Ellias and Sneh Sapru’s latest production, Hello Farmaaish, takes us into the world beyond our own with a fascinating narration of Kalpana Chawla’s space odyssey.
What’s Hello Farmaaish About:
In a small North Indian village, RJ Babloo (Abhishek Chauhan), an energetic Minaz (Priyanka Setia), and the wise General Gita (Puja Sarup) host a radio show, where they give their listeners a taste of Kalpana Chawla’s adventures in space. As the famous astronaut takes off into the unknown, the radio show hosts create their own imaginary version of what the world outside would be like. They soon become popular among the village folk, who call them on the show to know more about aliens and their world. But they also attract some trouble, as village goonies threaten to shut them down.
The main cast thoroughly impresses with its brilliant performance. Priyanka Setia is the highlight of the first half but Puja Sarup steals the show in the latter part. Abhishek Chauhan’s performance is consistent throughout and he adds quite the punch with his funny intonations and expressions. Adithi Kalkunte and Tanvi Lehr Sonigra share a great camaraderie, while Vaishali Bisht impresses even without the use of dialogues.
As an Aadyam presentation, the production of Hello Farmaaish is flawless. The set has been utilized to its maximum potential and even the props are used adequately throughout the play. The soothing music does its best in transporting you into a fantasy world and the songs sung live on stage have also been performed brilliantly by the cast members. Director Yuki Ellias deserves a special mention for putting it all together brilliantly for the stage.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The entire play has been performed in Hindi and the vernacular northern diction is used by the actors. If you are not familiar with the language, you may miss out on a few words but that will not hamper your overall experience of the play.
Why You Should Watch:
All Aadyam presentations are worth a watch. Hello Farmaaish may not include well-known actors from the Mumbai theatre circuit but thoroughly impresses with sincere performances and its unique story.