Pradnya Ganla

Written and Directed : Chinmay Mandalekar
Cast : Ashok Sharaf, Nirmiti Saawant


What is the function of a vacuum cleaner? It is to absorb the dust and clean the surface. But can it do the same for a relationship too? To know the answer one needs to watch Marathi play VACUUM CLEANER, a situational fantasy written and directed by Chinmay Mandalekar.

We witness a day in the life of a middle aged couple, Ranjan (Ashok Saraf) and Naina (Nirmitee Sawant). They have been married for 28 years and have two children, Parikshit (Prathmesh Cheulkar) and Priyanka (Tanvi Palav). Ranjan, who seems a short-tempered person, is busy with his business which is currently going through a financial crunch. He never shares his worries with wife because of an impression of her being a mere housewife. Naina's habit of taunting which has a root cause in Ranjan's extra-marital affair with Jalpa (Renuka Bodhankar) also prevents him from sharing his feelings. As a result, the couple has only arguments to exchange. Naina has a good rapport with the children though. She backs Parikshit, the aspiring dancer who wants to move on with his career choice but Ranjan is just not happy about it. He has typical ideas of manly behavior and thinks that being a dancer does not equate to it. The couple's married daughter, Priyanka shares the troubles in her married life with her mother, but she is the darling Ranjan and he is happy with her husband Shakti (Sagar Khedekar), who works with him and fulfills his notions of manliness. To overcome the communication gap, Naina has kept herself busy with relentless unnecessary shopping which is one more subject of battle. She has purchased a brand new vacuum cleaner, which is not working. It gives an electric shock when she attempts to start it.

This background is well-established from the very beginning of the play. The characters, especially Naina and Ranjan, take shape very clearly with all their traits and grudges. Then, a weird incident takes place due to the faulty vacuum cleaner. Naina enters Ranjan's body while Ranjan enters Naina's. This accident creates funny as well as dangerous situations for them as Ranjan's business is at a critical stage. But It also gives them a chance to step into other person's shoes which ultimately dissolves their misunderstandings.

How this twist takes place and then handled by the couple is something to experience on stage. The credit goes to lead actors; Ashok Saraf and Nirmiti Sawant whose craft and skill render the play enjoyable. Special mention should be made of the body language used by Nirmitee Sawant for the character of Ranjan. Both legends are very well-supported by each and every actor from the cast.

Director Chinmay Mandlekar has precisely designed the flow visualized by him, while keeping it fast-paced and entertaining. Being a fantasy there is no question of how and why; still, the second act turns out quite predictable and solves the issues very easily. Also, the sub-plot of Ranjan's extra-marital affair with Jalpa, being underdeveloped, seems needless in the course of things. The overall production value, set, light, music and dances fulfill the requirement.

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