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And Also

The Marathi adaptation of the Broadway play A Few Good Men

And Also
And Also

Play Marathi
Code Mantra
Mukta Barve, Ajay Purkar, Umesh Jagtap, Atul Mahajan
Director: Rajesh Joshi
Rating: ***

The Broadway play A Few Good Men (1989), about army excesses questioning notions of duty, patriotism and justice, has been adapted and staged in Marathi and Gujarati as Code Mantra. Ada­pted to the Indian army, Ravi Shelar (Faiz Khan), a soldier from a Maratha Regiment who has requested to be tra­n­sferred because of his ill hea­lth, dies hours bef­ore his leave. A probe charges Vik­­ram Shelar (Milind Adhi­kari), his elder brother and his superior, with murder. Defence lawyer Ahilya Des­h­­mukh (Mukta Barve), a military law expert, defends Vikram. She is pitted against a system that has no problems with collateral damage as long as it serves the higher goal of stren­gth­ening the army. Col Prat­aprao Nimbalkar (Ajay Purkar), Cmdr Shashikant Jad­­hav (Umesh Jagtap) and Lt Vina­yak Thatte (Atul Mahajan) play their parts with conviction. A well-written, high-oct­ane courtroom drama fol­­l­­ows. The play has elaborate, effective set design. However, they lag behind in the sound department.

Barve stands tall in an all-male crowd (except Shelar’s mother) on the stage, delivering swift, loaded and witty dia­logues with ease. But it is Ajay Purkar’s stellar, high-pitched act that highlights Barve’s performance.

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