Theatre Review: The F Word - A Hilarious and Heartwarming Play About Family

The F Word is a witty and poignant play that explores the complex and often messy dynamics of a dysfunctional family. Written and directed by Akarsh Khurana, the play features a stellar cast of Akash Khurana, Malaika Choudhury, Siddharth Kumar, and Garima Yajnik.

The play revolves around Chetan, a high school teacher, and his sister Unnati, a psychologist, who are forced to confront their parents' troubled marriage when their caretaker gives them some disturbing news. They take their father out to lunch to his favourite restaurant, hoping to have a clear and honest conversation. However, things don't go as planned, as they end up opening Pandora's box of family secrets that have been hidden for years.

The play is a hilarious yet heartfelt exploration of the relationships we take for granted, and how we often hurt the people we love the most. The dialogue is sharp and witty, with some clever wordplay and references. The characters are well-drawn and relatable, with their own flaws and vulnerabilities. The actors deliver brilliant performances, bringing out the humour and emotion of the script.

The play also touches upon some serious themes, such as ageing, resentment, nostalgia, and communication. It shows how every family has its own skeletons in the closet, and how sometimes it takes a crisis to bring them out. The play also shows how forgiveness and acceptance can heal the wounds of the past, and how love can overcome the differences.

The F Word is a must-watch for theatre enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys a good comedy with a touch of drama. It will make you laugh, cry, and think about your own family and relationships. It is a play that will stay with you long after the curtains fall.

What I liked about the play

There are many things that I liked about the play, but here are some of the highlights:

•  The plot: The plot is engaging and well-paced, with twists and turns that keep you hooked till the end. The play manages to balance comedy and drama without losing its impact or coherence. The play also avoids clichés and stereotypes and presents a realistic and nuanced portrayal of a modern Indian family.

•  The dialogue: The dialogue is one of the strongest aspects of the play. It is witty, clever, and natural, with references to pop culture, literature, and politics. The dialogue also reveals the personalities and motivations of the characters, as well as their conflicts and emotions. The dialogue also creates humour and tension in equal measure, making the play enjoyable and captivating.

•  The characters: The characters are well-developed and believable, with their own strengths and weaknesses. They are not perfect or idealized, but rather flawed and human. They have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies that make them unique and memorable. They also have their own arcs and growth throughout the play, as they learn more about themselves and each other.

•  The performances: The performances are outstanding, with each actor bringing their character to life with skill and charisma. Akash Khurana as the father delivers a nuanced and touching performance, capturing the indignities of ageing with humour and pathos. Malaika Choudhury as the sister breathes in wisdom, charm, and sensitivity into her character. Siddharth Kumar as the brother brings depth and nuance to his portrayal, revealing his vulnerabilities and flaws. And finally, Garima Yajnik as the restaurant owner shines as she perfectly portrays the friendly and familiar character.

What I didn't like about the play

There is not much that I didn't like about the play, but here are some minor points that could be improved:

•  The setting: The setting of the play is a restaurant where most of the action takes place. While this creates a sense of intimacy and realism, it also limits the scope and variety of the play. The setting could have been more dynamic or diverse to add more interest and contrast to the play.

•  The ending: The play's ending is satisfying and hopeful, but it also feels rushed and abrupt. The play could have used more time or scenes to wrap up the loose ends and show the consequences of the revelations. The ending could have also been more ambiguous or open-ended to leave more room for interpretation or discussion.

How to watch the play

The F Word is currently playing at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, Mumbai, NCPA

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