Saturday, February 02, 2008

Showcase: Madhur Devgan

Madness- lunacy, insanity, call it what you will- has always held a peculiar, even perverse, sort of fascination for those who think of themselves as Normal (fashionably enough, this blogger claims to be neither here nor there but somewhere in-between).

This fascination has, more often than not, become the inspiration for- and subject of- Great Art: Hamlet, for instance, wouldn't be half as interesting if he wasn't- how does Bloom put it?- 'a free artist of himself'. In our own time, popular portrayals of people who aren't quite all here- Jack Nicholson in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (and The Shining), Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Geoffrey Rush in Shine and Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind- have all won Oscars.

More to the point, Normalcy (whatever that may be) has become infused with Madness; without it, we cease to be interesting. The corollary is also true: Madness now aspires to Normalcy. The Mad too seek- and as the above Oscars demonstrate only too well, are beginning- to be understood. Wittgenstein's somewhat confused prophesy of cats not being able to live in the world of dogs- or for that matter, humans- is no longer valid: the walls have broken down; we have all become each other.

Lo, a star is born
It is in this context that I wish to introduce this particular video. Madhur Devgan, a soft-spoken networking-engineer who spends his evenings at the National School of Drama, has, in my opinion, done a brilliant character-sketch of a similarly tormented soul: more than the comedic overtone, I am moved- indeed, disturbed- by his quietly simmering discontent, which towards the end of the clip, erupts into Rage; a rhapsody of primeval hunger.

And those of us who know Madhur, cannot but wonder: how far is it possible to divorce the actor from his character?

AJ Read More (आगे और पढ़ें)......

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