Buderamer Kupe Pora: Civilisation down the gutter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:09 AM, April 01, 2019

THEATRE REVIEW

Buderamer Kupe Pora: Civilisation down the gutter

'Buderamer Kupe Pora', the 63rd production by Rajshahi-based Anushilan Natyadal is written and directed by Malay Bhowmick. The play raises pertinent questions about the working of a welfare state in contemporary times. It was staged for the fifth time at Kazi Nazrul Islam Auditorium of Rajshahi University recently.

The three-act play is set in an unspecified region in modern times. It revolves around a simpleton, Buderam (Khairul Islam), who is all set to embrace death by drowning in a country well. Since taking one's own life is no child's play, he engages two professionals, played by Zillur Rahaman Jewel and Shahadat Hossain Mimsin.

Although the playwright takes a leaf out of absurdist plays of the 1950s, Buderamer Kupe Pora works well as an allegory on human conditions, especially in the developing economies that apes the ways of the capitalist world. On a personal level, the well may be interpreted as the lure of the Middle-East with its oil reserves stacked down the oil fields. Buderam may be read as an unskilled labourer living on menial work. On the national level, it could hint at the fatal attraction of globalisation that the developing countries should resist. It also hits out at a world split bilaterally between factions led by Rama and Ravana with a clear allusion to the clash of civilizations. The director keeps his flair for comedy in check and let his satirical darts hit the bull's eye. The sequence featuring a government official drafting an elaborate project proposal to carry out the rescue is loaded with sarcasm. A sharp critique of the public delivery system, this lays bare the flow of state capital that finds the neediest ones at the end of the line. Malay sides with the marginalised when an insensitive media starts peddling sensation in the name of journalism.

Stylistically, Buderamer Kupe Pora is a departure from the stark realism of his other plays. He writes with lucidity and his penchant for comic situations shows in bits and pieces. Interestingly, he resorts to a repetitive pattern that provides some breathing space to the audience who is drawn to his overlapping arguments over justice and injustice. The simple production design complete with three cylindrical structures with varying diameters and a hanging trellis suggesting an armed conflict add to the wasteland scenario. Lastly, Mohan Moitra's choreography brings in an element of rhythm in an otherwise fluid production. By infusing elements of the slapstick the director does tickle a few funny bones with Nobonita Chakraborty excelling as the caricature of a field reporter. Khairul Islam is a genuine talent in the lead role. Irrespective of that, Buderamer Kupe Pora succeeds in engaging the audience for little more than an hour. Without compromising on its content and intention, it made them laugh their hearts out. Coming from a unit that consists mostly of students, this is quite a commendable feat.

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