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Double Deal Reloaded

Anisha Pal

The first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the famous Indian playwright and director Mr. Mahesh Dattani, in his latest direction ‘Double Deal Reloaded’ outdid himself in captivating the audience throughout the mysterious play. Held on June 23rd at G.D. Birla Sabhaghar, ‘Double Deal Reloaded’, a compact psychological thriller kept the audience anxious throughout its ninety minute show time. Presented by AGP World and produced by Ashvin Gidwani, the play unfolds a brilliant story of deceit, betrayal and greed.

Starring Bharat Dhabolkar as Jeet and Manjari Fadnnis as Priya, the plot starts on a simple note with Jeet paying for Priya’s shopping bill at a mall when she realizes that her purse is missing. What starts off as an innocent encounter between strangers, turns out to be way more complicated than it looks.

The plot develops steadily to reveal that Jeet is a con artist and Priya, who is a mother of a child, wants to kill her husband due to her dissatisfaction in marriage and because her husband had been philandering with her best friend. Jeet proposes to help Priya in killing her husband only if she agrees on signing a contract where Jeet would become an equal partner in Priya’s company after her husband’s death. The plot reaches its culmination when Priya reveals that she was the mastermind behind the bank robbery which had sent Jeet behind the bars, and also that she had murdered her friend out of jealousy, there is a sudden burst of action. Priya temporarily blinds Jeet with a pepper spray and also shoots her husband who had arrived there as instructed. She comes out victorious leaving Jeet on stage, who swears that he would take revenge on Priya for betraying him years.

The play ends in a brilliant dramatic anti-climax which needs to be witnessed by the audience.

The set design was commendable and something that caught the attention of the viewers, a living room of a posh house elaborately setup. The appropriate use of lights and music added in building the mystery further. The script had an enormous amount of humor in it in spite of it being a thriller, which added a special dimension to the play. The protagonists of the play could be viewed as each other’s alter egos, equally humorous, shrewd, cunning and ambitious. The direction and the play itself opens up a large avenue for criticism on psychoanalysis of the characters.

Double Deal Reloaded is an excellent example of real world social contexts where crimes, greed and misdemeanors of the past turn the present into a hellish battle over blood money.