A review on Pakistani Com-Drama theatre play, ‘Aarfy’ (2016), Written by Kamal Ahmed Rizvi and Directed by Akbar Islam.
Originally it is a 1944 play ‘Harvey’ by the American playwright Mary Chase. Chase received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work in 1945. It has been adapted for film and television several times, most notably in a 1950 film starring James Stewart.
+ Full Cast:
- Akbar Islam as S. M. Ahmed
- Naz as Atiya
- Hamza Shykh as Dr. Ahsun
- Aamir Naqvi as Irshad Sahib
- Sehrish Qadeer as Erum
- Faraz Shykh as Wali Muhammad
- Zaman Abbasi as Driver
- Samina Aman as Mrs. Bari / Mrs. Zulfi
- Khalid Sherwani as Dr. Zulfi
- Faryal Memon as Maryam
A grown-up man, S. M. Ahmed has an “Imaginary” friend named Aarfy — in the form of a 6″3-foot-tall invisible rabbit. Ahmed’s family and friends believe he is mad as he is the only the one who could see ‘Aarfy’… well, almost the only one.
+ High Points
i – Another DYNAMIC performance yet again by Naz as Atiya. Those plays are really hard to miss if one learns that she is also performing in them. Her realistic performances, has gain a strong fan following in the theatre audience. Naz is now officially in the zone of ‘Great Performers’.
ii – Akbar Islam as S. M. Ahmed played the lead role really well; bought fond memories of the classic comedy film ‘Harvey’ (1950). This is the first theatrical performance I have watched of Akbar Islam. Honorable Mentions: Aamir Naqvi.
iii – Sehrish Qadeer & Khalid Sherwani performances were mild yet a welcome to theatrical world.
iv – The set design and its props were suitable according to the main scenes.
v – Nice to see new faces in almost the entire cast.
vi – The play is closely based on the film ‘Harvey’ (1950).
vii – Some of the scenes were nicely directed.
+ Low Points
i – Although the play is closely based on the film but still this comic play was unable to make people laugh and enjoy as one expected from it. The jokes were there but with a huge gap in between. In most places, it seemed as if we were only watching a drama play instead of comedy. Agreed that the play had light comedy in their drama play but the problem is that the premise of the play could have made it even more interesting and humorous to watch. The rules for theatre plays (in storytelling) work differently as to the film / TV. Here the audience wants quick, hilarious jokes, comic punch lines / actions in able to enjoy themselves. If the jokes / good punch lines cannot be placed in certain scenes then those scenes should be interesting to watch. Otherwise you would lose audience attention and level of interest very quickly and easily.
ii – If Aamir Naqvi is given a ‘Pandit’ role, even then he would refuse to cut his hair.
iii – The young cast needs to make more effort and gain more experience before their performances can be labeled as good.
iv – There were several scenes in the play which could have been easily edited out. These scenes had no link with the main plot and had lack of interest to watch. Such as ‘Nurse & Doctor’ scenes, ‘Wali Muhammad & Maryam’ scenes, etc.
v – The chairs placement (close to each other) at Dr. Zullfi hospital looked unnatural.
vi – Some of the young cast voice was too low for the audience to hear them clearly and easily.
vii – Since the play was not really that interesting and its time length was longer than usual plays therefore by 2nd half many people from the audience left the auditorium.
viii – Atiya kept banging the wrong door although she saw several times that the doctor went in to the other one.
You may be impressed by the lead performances but still Aarfy would leave many disappointed as it seriously lacks good jokes and hilarious punch lines.
Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars