Motivating compliments or constructive criticism? What makes us better performers? This question becomes trickier when there is an air of hoax attached to it. Anil Deshpande, a young theatre actor, steps out of the rickshaw, transporting his mind from the tranquil streets of Nashik to the “struggling actor” laden locality of Andheri, Mumbai. He finds himself in the rehearsal room of his idol, the legendary theatre director- Bapat ji. Anil feels like an outsider among the almost motorised actors. Despite his nervousness, Anil impresses Bapat ji during rehearsals and is offered words of encouragement. Rehearsals resume and Bapat Ji cuts a word from Anil’s line. With every encouraging speech given to Anil, one word is cut from his dialogue, leaving him with only one word to say in the play’s final performance. Anil hopes to impress Bapat Ji. But would it mean a lot more if he impressed his audience?
“Sometimes your greatest tormentor can be your most perceptive teacher.” I was watching my mentor perform in front of a houseful audience. He was feeding off their laughter while I stood in the wings ready to hand him his next prop. I had a line in that play. After the show, everyone huddled around him and showered him with praises. I stood on the side watching the queue getting bigger by the minute. Out of nowhere, a couple approached me and told me that they giggled when I delivered my line. That was the best day of my life. “Cue Kya Tha?” is a diary entry for my mentors. I have had all kinds of experiences with them that have shaped me as a human. But the best kind of experiences were those that made me hit rock bottom. Indian theatre reminds me of my grandmother’s home. It’s a little bungalow in Pune, surrounded by a garden. She would listen to intense classical music while sipping tea and enjoying the sun. I found that rather amusing. This was an inspiration for the score that I would’ve liked the film to have. Easy on the ears, heavy on the heart. If you’ve ever been told that you’re special, then this film might upset you.