Kariginche Vennela - Melting Moonlight
Cinematic special effects, like slow-motion, scene fade-ins and fade-outs, etc. configure the mise en scene in Surabhi theatre. ‘Magical events’ on stage in Surabhi musicals, play out through scenes where clouds of smoke drift past the stage, objects float, collide, and catch fire. Light animates and plays tricks, between opacity and transparency making things visible (and at times invisible). The Surabhi stage lies somewhere in the recursivity between theatre and life, where members of the group move seamlessly between playing various characters and living their lives as a family behind the stage.
The film looks at the aspect of magic and dreams and how they begin to overlap in the mythological narratives of their plays and spill into their everyday lives. It follows fragments of stage props, painted backdrops, objects, setting-up, and dismantling of the stage to look at ideas of staging and performance.
Through the vivid recollections of landscapes in the painted backdrops by the members of the theatre group, the film reflects on the collective coping of the dwindling theater group and its members, the production of the theatrical image, magic, staging, and performance.