Jawa “Final Judgement” Starting 24th Oct, Daily at 6:30PM Venue: Changlimithang parking

Yangdon is in love with Tenzin. But she is faced with the brutal reality of his betrayal, when he does not accept the news of her pregnancy. In desperation, Yangdon goes to speak with Tenzin’s parents. But unfortunately the response she gets from them is no better, and instead gets thrown out of their house abusively. Out of shame, Yangdon commits suicide.

Yangdon’s mother, Aum Om, encounters Tenzin’s father, Ap Dhendup. She reminds him of their past, where Ap Dhendup tricked Aum Om andsold her to a businessman. Aum Om threatens to not cremate her daughter’s dead body or perform any rituals. In revenge of their action towards Yangdon, she promises to ensure the rising of her daughter’s spirit using black magic.

As a result, Yangdon’s spirit haunts Tenzin’s family and in the end kills Tenzin and his father, Ap Dhendup. Yangdon forgives Tenzin’s mother, Aum Dechen, after she begs for forgiveness and shows remorse.

Aside from the supernatural element of vengeful spirits in the production the rest of the presentation of Jawa dwells on the ‘boy met girl, boy gets girl pregnant, boy unwilling to accept girl… and the melodrama that follows.’

As Bollywood-ish as it may be, Jawa is not in essence presented to the viewers with the same agenda. That for one is because it is a play artistically packaged with the aid of modern technology of lights and sounds.  It also seems to combine certain elements that will make it appealing for a Bhutanese audience, the rising from the dead, the revenge of the disadvantaged.

The sets for the theatrical play designed by experts from Bhutan and India also seemedto please the Bhutanese audience who for a long time were treated to background scenes that were most often than not attuned with mood, plot or generally changing tone of emotions in the plays.

The change in costumes in the presentation of Jawa adjusting to the spirit of the play is also a shift from the local plays or dramas in the past that never did risk the need to go with character definitions of actors. Therefore actors in those days never budged from the traditional attire for any role. The visibly impressed public has not missed this aspect in the theatrical presentation.

However it remains in good faith that the makers and creators of this play do not intend to deride everything that has been produced in the old days.The makers of Jawa say their chief plan is to revive the art of theatre in the country to possibly make it an alternative in the avenues of entertainment. Judging by how this play was presented it cannot be argued that introducing a few evolutionary devices in the art does help to drive home the point.

Producer of the play Ugyen Dorji says the idea for the play was developed three years back. It can assumedly be said here it was a good long, but well-allotted time frame for an idea that did go down acceptably-well with its audience. Norling Drayang will take the drama to other dzongkhags depending on the audience it receives.  In terms of cost more than Nu 4M has been invested to bring out the play. It was directed by Gyem Dorji.

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