The mysteries associated with renouncement have always fascinated people. Dr K Y Narayanaswamy, the most sought after Kannada playwright, magically creates a thrilling experience in his new play Chakra Rathna, produced by Roopanthara.
Through the play, KYN revisits the important chapters of Adi Purana, mainly focusing on Adi Deva, Bharatha, Bahubali extending it to Chavundaraya and ending it with Arishtanemi. The entire play is a ripple effect of renouncements of key characters at various intervals of time. Breaking the chronology of events and creating mystery around them, the play leaves the audience perplexed.
The playwright brilliantly intersperses the present events with the past, brings in characters from various timelines and manipulates the present. He has also experimented with this genre in his earlier classics, Pampa Bharatha and Anabhigna Shakuntala. With Chakra Rathna, he seems to have completed the Thriller Trilogy.
The play begins with the royal sculptor Arishtanemi and his disciples wandering about the terrains. It is the last night of the twelfth year since Arishtanemi promised Chavundaraya to find a monolith to etch out the statue of Bahubali. With the fear that Chavundaraya might end his life, if the monolith is not found that night, Arishtanemi orders his disciples to chop off his hands, if their mission is not accomplished.
In the middle of the night, they meet a cobbler in the woods, who offers them water and says, “I stitch sandals by the day and suture the wounds in the night.”They part ways for their respective missions.
The first twist comes when one of Arishtanemi’s disciple finds the right monolith, but is shocked when the rock starts bleeding. Arishtanemi realises that the cobbler would be the right person to stitch the wound of the rock and goes in search of him. Following the clues he gets, Arishtanemi follows the path of the cobbler and enters a cave. It is during the search of the cobbler inside the cave, the chapters of Adi Purana unfold.
The entering of the cave symbolically depicts the intersection of characters and events from the past and present. The cobbler stitches the wounds of the hurt people and moves on to the next person, while Arishtanemi just trails back at every intersection. KYN’s storytelling technique reaches a crescendo in this mysterious tour.
The playwright takes creative liberty during the one-on-one fight between Bharatha and Bahubali where the character Chakra Rathna, replaces Bharatha.
The lead actors Narendra Babu (Arishtanemi), Ramachandra (Cobbler/Bahubali), Chakra Rathna (Sitara), Vadiraj (Bharatha), have also done a good job.
Music by veteran composer Narayan Raichur is entertaining. Apart from the lead singer Ramchandra Hadpad, young talent Sanjana also enthralled the audience with her beautiful voice and classical rendition.
Lighting by Nagaraj is another strength of the play. The last scene where the monolith turns into a beautifully carved statue of Babubali is mesmerising. Sculptor Siddarama Koppar needs special mention for his wonderful creation.