Amol Palekar's acting ability keeps the audience in suspense
Co-directed by Sandhya Gokhale (wife of Amol Palekar), 'Kusur' (The error) revolves around a retired police assistant commissioner, Ashok Dandavate (Amol Palekar), who was sent to the emergency control room of the police Mumbai Adapted from the Danish film by Gustav Möller, 'Den Skyldige', the play is a well-crafted and engaging story of a police officer waiting for his trial the next day. On that night, he oscillates between answering endless phone calls from people seeking police assistance and his conscience punctures him because of his past actions.
Of those frantic phone calls that request police assistance, one in particular irritates him more. It is the hesitant voice of a middle-aged woman, with fear and tension, and who is sobbing between words. He believes she has been kidnapped by her husband. Although his friends and colleagues repeatedly warned him not to get emotionally involved in the cases he is handling, he does exactly that.
The plot is simple and predictable. It accelerates only after this particular woman calls. One wonders who this woman is and what is the intention behind her husband who kidnapped her and drove her away from her young children.
The play marks Palekar's return to the stage after almost 25 years, and the veteran actor brings the same affability and relatability to his character as in films like 'Golmaal', 'Chitchor' and 'Rajnigandha', among others.
It is not an easy role to play, either physically or emotionally, but Palekar manages to do justice to the role. With Palekar's powerful performance and well-coordinated sound design, this 80-minute solo act keeps the audience hooked. The design of the set is minimalist and features a simple table that has control panels, vibrating phones and blinking lights that immediately transport you to the control room and help you create suspense.
With the character of Palekar, which presents a whole range of emotions, 'Kusur' (The Mistake) highlights the fact that, despite good intentions, it is sometimes difficult to set aside prejudices.