Mahesh Dattani’s Hasmukh Saab Ki Wasihat is a harsh yet comedic reflection of the patriarchal society. Lined with fine humour and a crisp script, the play is a witty theatrical satire.
Hasmukh Mehta is anything but "hasmukh". He is a rich grouchy old autocratic businessman, who doesn’t appreciate independent thinking. He controls his family for every small thing from mobile phones to paranthe. And, everyone abides by his code of rules. His wife, his son and also the daughter-in-law, bears with him hoping for a better future. But even after his sudden death, Hasmukh refuses to detach himself from his family and tries to control them with the most heinous will ever made.
Hasmukh Saab Ki Wasihat takes a closer look at the relationships within a family. It specially focuses on the dominance of the father-figure on the other members of the family. The play starts with the monologue of Hasmukh Mehta where he gives a gist of his life and relationship with his family. He talks about his wife, Sonal, whom he considers no longer beautiful. His son, who according to him is an unsuccessful man. He also talks about his "evening walks", by which he meant an affair with his colleague.
The characters are brilliant in the way it’s been scripted. Credit must be given to the stellar performances of the actors. Mohan Agashe as the surly old man, Mr. Hasmukh, is crusty, selfish and at times sentimental. His soliloquy is fun to watch. Seema Pahwa also gives an utterly convincing performance as the wife. You will empathize with her situation. Her character is in stark contrast with Kaveri, played by Achint Kaur. She is smart and independent. Mona Wasu and Gagan Singh also syncs in perfectly with their characters.
The stage setup and lighting is remarkable. And CinePlay makes the experience even better. The cinematography by Oskari Polho and Katyayani Mudholkar and the music by Seemingly That adds on to the finely-layered story of Mahesh Dattani.
Hasmukh Saab Ki Wasihat is one of the earliest plays of Mahesh Dattani. The story appeals everyone. It is a perfect blend of drama and dark humour. Thought-provoking and at times introspective, Hasmukh Saab Ki Wasihat will entertain without any doubt.
Check out the trailer here: