Bollywood film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, who is known for his romantic thrillers Jism and Murder, has taken a turn towards stage again, with his new play Trial of Error. The Indian Express reported that after the success of his 2011 play Last Salute, which was based on the shoe-throwing incident involving former US President George Bush, Bhatt was prompted to bring to stage another social issue.
Trial of Error deals with the prejudices against the Muslims in India, when agencies accuse Muslim youth for any act of terrorism in the country, reports The Indian Express. The play expresses the problems faced by Indian Muslim youth when they are branded as terrorists; and the trauma they face while fighting for justice.
“We condemn and oppose the agencies’ habit of jumping to conclusions that certain Muslim groups might be involved in terror acts after every blast,” said the 64-year-old film-maker.
Bhatt has joined hands with Sandiip Kapoor of Promodome films to stage Trial of Error, with National award-winning playwright Waryam Mast directing it. While Delhi-based actor Imran Zahid will be playing the lead role, Bhatt has a role for himself in mind — he will be narrating the play.
The versatile film-maker, who has made films belonging to every genres, while talking about his switch from romantic thrillers to a social issue said, “If I have made Jism and Murder, then I have also made Saraansh, Arth and Zakhm. I have oscillated between two extremes.”
The plot of the play revolves around a journalist, played by Zahid, in search for truth behind the prejudices against Muslims. However, he gets entangled in a vicious circle during his search and is labelled as a terrorist by the system. The story is about his struggle to prove his innocence and to get out of the mess he is in.
“There are many case studies on the internet as well as TV and newspaper reports, which have helped me prepare for my role. It investigates why innocent young Muslim men are branded terrorists and how fundamentalists take advantage of that,” Imran said, according to The Indian Express.
This is not the first time Zahid is working with Bhatt on stage. The 31-year-old actor has also essayed the role of journalist Muntadharal Zaidi in Bhatt’s previous play Last Salute.
Zahid considers the film-maker his mentor. “Bhaat sahib is my mentor and he says performing on stage will help me polish myself. Also theatre lets you explore those subjects which cannot be adapted to celluloid because making films is an expensive affair,” said Imran.
The rehearsals for the play are already underway and the play will be staged on March 29 in Delhi before travelling across the country to cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2013.
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