Kusur: The Mistake is a Hindi play that sees veteran artiste Amol Palekar’s return to the stage after 25 long years. The play is adapted from the Danish movie The Guilty (2018, original title ‘Den Skyldige’) directed by Gustav Moller and starring Jakob Cedegren in the lead role. It’s adapted by writer Sandhya Gokhale, who is Palekar’s wife, and directed by the latter.
Kusur revolves around retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Ashok Dandavate (Palekar) who is now volunteering for the emergency services in Mumbai wherein distressed citizens dial 100 to receive help. He is accused of killing a young man while he was the ACP and the hearing is on the next day.
The set designer has smartly created the emergency call room. There are no extravagant props used but only the necessary ones, which adds realism. But the use of blue lighting borders is questionable.
As calls keep coming in for help from different citizens, you get easily involved in the proceedings. I don’t know how people handling these calls carry out their task in real. But the working style displayed by Palekar appeared convincing. Even otherwise, the actor has given an impressive act while showcasing different emotions.
Kusur is more of an emotional thriller. The makers haven’t changed the plot from The Guilty. It wasn’t required since the content is not only interesting but also one which can be placed in Mumbai as well in today’s times.
The story takes a turn when a woman calls up 100 and starts speaking with Dandavate as if she is speaking to a child. Dandavate quickly realizes that she needs help but is unable to say openly as she is with a man who is sounding angry.
The ex-ACP instantly realizes that the woman is in danger and starts making valiant attempts to rescue her from the trap. Dandavate is unaware that this is just a starting point of an unusual maze he has got involved in.
Along with him, the audience also goes through various turns and are eventually brought to a point that is both shocking and emotional. The final twist speaks a lot without speaking much and forces you to ask questions related not only to this story but also about the society. The writer has succeeded in fooling the audience, which was so very necessary here.
But Kusur also has few questionable aspects. The murder case against Dandavate appears half-baked. Having not seen The Guilty, I don’t know this sub-plot was handled in the movie. But it is not explored much here. There was an opportunity to explore it more since the length of the play is too less at around an hour and 15 minutes or so.
There is also this character Pandey, Dandavate’s close friend, whose past incident about his grandmother doesn’t quite fit in.
Overall, Kusur is an interesting emotional thriller with an added bonus of Amol Palekar’s return to stage.
By: Keyur Seta