21 August 2009

นางฟ้านิรนาม | Cocktail

Cocktail by Vince Licata and Ping Chong has been adapted into a Thai screenplay, entitled Anonymous Angel or Nangfah Nirnam. Directed by Dangkamol na Pombejra, the play revolves around the life of a Thai pharmaceutical scientist, Dr Krisna Kraisintu, who firmly believes that all lives are equal and therefore everyone, rich or poor, should be entitled to equal access to medicine.

The performance by the cast and crew from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, remained strong in their first show to the public. Applause naturally went to Bhanbassa Dhubtien for her brilliant acting and pace, as she was able to hold the audience captive to her solid two-hour performance. Her acting remained serious in contrast to the intentionally absurd performance of other characters, thus making us question contemporary society we live in, where the sane are obviously the marginal.

My first impression after the performance was also how the crew managed to make use of all audio-visual gadgets to great effect, though at times synchronisation could present itself as a problem. Also evident was
the contrast between red and yellow, something which probably was not in the original, but adapted to convey the director's own signature in this Thai rendition.

There's however one thing that I questioned, that whether it was fashionable in this day and age to create the flat portrayal of a character. We only see the good side of Dr Krisna in this play and it somehow makes me wonder whether some audience would find it too excessive, to the extent that it might become an unintentionally self-parody. Wouldn't it be better then to create a more complex Krisna, whose ambition is a double-edged sword that could make her personality both benign and monstrous at the same time? Of course, I don't mean that such a truly great and altruistic person cannot exist, but I question that person is as flawless as Dr Krisna in this play.

But at the end of the day, I couldn't help but marvel at the colossal figure Dr Krisna cuts for herself anyway. Flawless or not, Dr Krisna is a rare jewel in this corrupt world.