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.

1 comment:

celinejulie said...

I like this play very much, though I think if I were the heroine's secretary, I might have quit the job. One thing that I like very much in this play is the fact that it can make entertainment out of a serious subject. I think it is more entertaining than LORENZO'S OIL (1992, George Miller, A+), which also deals with chemical problems. I think this play is as effective as the documentary SICKO (Michael Moore, A+), which deals with the public healthcare system of USA. I also like the fact that this play is against how some people worship "profits" and "market" more than humanity, though I wonder if it would be better or not if the play chooses to portray the villains from foreign chemical/drug company as "people who look like us", rather than portraying them as "people who look much more villainous than us", so that the play can remind us that people who worship profits too much are actually all around us. They don't look different from us. They may even look more respectable than us. They may even be a part of ourselves.