Review: Five Point Someone [Evam]

Posted on Jan 30th, 2010 by Shuchi in Reviews, English, Evam

Five Point Someone by Evam It is rare for an enactment of a novel to match up to the source. Nuances of writing – passages about atmosphere, insights into characters’ motivations, the artful arrangement of words – do not translate well to the visual medium.

Chetan Bhagat’s novel, in that sense, is a delight for the play/film-maker – a story of mass appeal told in simple, flourish-free language.

Evam does a very decent job of the stage adaptation. This doesn’t happen often but I enjoyed the play more than the book.

With a 2+ hour run time (long for a play, yet I didn’t feel it) Five Point Someone follows the plot of Chetan Bhagat’s novel faithfully, adding some distinct Evamish touches along the way.

Five Point Someone is about (as everyone must know by now) three friends Hari, Ryan and Alok underachievers or five-point-someones at IIT Delhi. The novel traces their lives through four years of IIT, with mostly Hari telling the tale in the first person. The play handles this device with two separate people as Haris – one doing the acting, the other outside as the narrator.

One of the most interesting aspects of the play is its use of lights to create location and shift audience attention. Narrator Hari appears under a spotlight whenever his turn comes while the actors on stage freeze, then fades into darkness as the action resumes on stage. Red-and-blue rotating lights stand for the ambulance. An inventively designed bulb inside a bottle is part of their hostel room. The dark night on the terrace is lit up by a simulation of moonlight.

Special mention for the vertical bed, which brought on giggles and applause from the audience. Set changes must have been tough to manage within the few seconds that the main stage was dark and Narrator Hari was active. There was one awkward moment when the lights came on before the stage was ready; other than that it was done pretty adeptly.

I also liked the way the cast managed to face the audience at all times, especially in the unconventionally staged classroom scenes.

It’s intriguing how actors who excel in one type of role are misfits in another. Ryan was fine as long as he played the self-assured hero, but did not pull off the guilt-ridden soliloquy that well. Prof Cherian was about okay as the strict disciplinarian, but in the difficult scene in which he reads Sameer’s letter and breaks down, he was very very good. Narrator Hari was just right for the role too, he has a voice to die for! But as always, taken collectively Evam’s acting left me underwhelmed. For a professional theatre group, there is too much rawness.

(Turns out that Evam has two casts for Five Point Someone. I saw the one on 28th Jan 2010. The Hari I didn’t get to see is getting lots of complimentary messages on Twitter, making me wish I had gone for his show!)

The play ended with a neat way of introducing the cast. For me, it is little gestures like these that makes Evam so much fun.

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Article by Shuchi

Shuchi lives in Bangalore (mostly), when she isn’t traveling out of town for work. She adores theatre and writes about plays she watches whenever she gets a chance.

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9 Comments to “Review: Five Point Someone [Evam]”

  1. Good review yet again and I agree to most of your points. I have followed this play of Evam’s right through auditions, practice sessions and final shows, and I must tell you Evam pulled up a good final show.

    I agree that the acting seemed raw but I guess somehow worked out for the engineering college plot. Quite of few of the actors are on-stage for the first time, specially if I am not wrong the Hari(Sudarshan) you got to see.

    But as always, somethings worked some didn’t. I guess the next Bangalore show at Good Shepard auditorium will be quite improved as the actors would have done quite a few shows and will be more comfortable in their roles…

    BTW..a lil outta context “A Funny Thing Called War” by Tahatto is happening again most probably on 20th Feb at Alliance Fr. Don’t miss it this time. 🙂

    January 31st, 2010 11:25 pm

  2. Hi Piyush,

    You have a point there – the acting didn’t jar much as the play was not so demanding in that department. Of the 3 main actors, Alok was pretty good. I felt the rawness more with the smaller roles, like the college staff.

    Thanks for the info on “A Funny Thing Called War”. Will try to make it this time. 🙂

    February 1st, 2010 10:39 am

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vijeesh Shankar, evam, evam, DramaDose, DramaDose and others. DramaDose said: Review: Five Point Someone […]

    February 1st, 2010 6:11 pm

  4. A lil update here…we had to postpone “A Funny Thing Called War” for some unavoidable issues but will be staged soon. Will keep you posted… 🙂

    February 6th, 2010 12:14 am

  5. Thanks for the update, Piyush. I’ve linked to Tahatto’s site by the way – check out our Links page.

    February 21st, 2010 2:11 pm

  6. […] impressions can be a deal-breakers. Now if only I had taken him to Evam the story might ended […]

    June 2nd, 2010 9:10 am

  7. This vertical bed you mention sounds intriguing. What was its role?(I haven’t seen the play but I have read the book:))

    August 19th, 2010 8:34 pm

  8. @Brishti, Of all the things in the review, is that the only one that caught your eye? 😀

    August 19th, 2010 8:48 pm

  9. Hee,no,the whole review was good..this is just the thing that stood out.Don’t blame me for having a healthy curiosity;)

    August 20th, 2010 1:54 pm

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