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The Final Curtain

This telefilm is based on the Sahitya Akademi award-winning author, Ashokamitran's short story "Ending of the Play". Anita Ratnam and Dhritaman Chatterjee play the lead roles in this absorbing drama directed by Chetan Shah and Dhanushkodi. Filmed in English and Hindi, it was presented by the British Council and Madras Players (Theatre Club) in Feb.1999 at the British Council Division as well as at several other venues.

The TV adaptation however goes beyond the framework of a playwright's infatuation with the heroine he has created and her devotion to her lover who is destined to die in the play.

The idea of setting classic myths and legends to a modern context has roused popular interest not only because of the innate fascination with the story but also due to the scope for debate on its thematic relevance. The story of Satyavan and Savitri grips the mind with the insidious stereotyping of its heroine and its appallingly tame climax. On one level the film is a retelling of that story in which Maya plays the role model for today's women - strong, intelligent, comfortable with her feminity but not bound by it; and in which the confrontation between her and the Yama character builds to a dramatic denouement.

Being a dancer-choreographer, very conscious about Euro-centric influences in all forms of our life, I am actively trying to create an Asian aesthetic in contemporary performance practice, in my own work and in my philosophy of dance-art.

The conflict leads inexorably to a clash of ideas - abstract philosophical ideas. Thus on another level the film throws up a debate which repudiates folk psychology - our conventional and intuitive way of understanding the human mind.

Commenting on his choices, Chetan Shah, Director, said "Anita was the perfect choice as she is a sort of role model for the modern woman of today. Her acting talent, strong personality and training in dance, were all ideally suited too for the role."

Running time: 33mins

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