Set in picturesque Kashmir during winter, Barff is a thriller which spans over one night. Desperate parents of an ailing child and an unsuspecting doctor are the three lives caught in the whirlwind of conflicting questions of truth, reality and belief.
I don’t watch a lot of plays, but decided to watch start with this one because, One – for the genre of the play – ‘thriller’ and second for Saurabh Shukla. I mean who didn’t love his Judge in Jolly LLB??
The venue was Prithvi theatre. My first time. a small auditorium which surrounded the stage from all sides. (As opposed to the traditional theatres I used to visit when I was kid for child-plays and comedy dramas).
I sat on the left side on front row seat. The raised stage began right ahead save for the small space for keeping feet. As a result I saw much of the drama unfold a feet away from me.
And what a treat that was!!
As soon as the play started, back ground turned sky blue and down came white sparks of what was Kashmir snow, then they turned burning yellow. And I was reminded of the play’s tagline – ‘Barf- Burns more than fire’. And I was like,”This is gonna be awesome!!!”
The play quickly transported me to the remote snow-clad village in the kashmir.The atmosphere was nothing short of a horror movie (a good one, not those jump-scare fests). The auditorium was used as hills of kashmirs as the characters moved up and down they stairs throughout the play making us, the audience, a part of experience.
The backdrop of Kashmir’s beauty and its current troubled stare was weaved in the story well.
It was an absolute pleasure to watch Saurabh Shukla live and the supporting cast of husband and wife were also delight to watch.
Starting as a thriller with a terrific hook, the play touched the horror, dark comedy as well as emotional nods.
This play comes under the sub genre of ‘contained space thrillers’, where the story is set entirely in one location. I really love this kind of stories. The play even reminded me of Stephen King’s ‘Misery’, one of my favourite horror novels.
The tension was sometimes so high that a couple of times I spoke out loud ‘Dude!!’ and ‘oh fuck!!’. The people around me gave me annoyed side-glances and then all my reactions were gasps and mute shouts throughout the play.
For anyone who loves watching plays or even thriller movies, ‘Barff’ is a must watch.
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