Mutthala is a small theatre piece about a morally upright plumber, who is pursuing his degree in civil engineering. Directed by Sir M C Anand, the entire plot is an explosive combination of highly personal drama, in a locality where corruption and greed seem to be the only shared values left in people.
The honest plumber is up against an entire system of bureaucrats, after learning about the bad condition of an apartment occupied by lower-middle-class people. The old building is in a grave state of disrepair. A routine burst pipe in one of the rickety communal sections of the building unearths a much larger problem, as the exterior wall behind the pipe has cracked and will lead to other problems.
Shankar (the main character), the plumber inspects the whole matter, after a husband-wife dispute leads to a routine pipe breakage. He realizes that the building has fissured from the ground right up to the ninth floor, thus staking the lives of 800 inhabitants of this poorly maintained apartment. The old building is at the risk of collapsing within the next 26 hours.
Knowing that 800 inhabitants might go down with the building, Shankar with his little knowledge and understanding, races to the birthday party of the Mayor Annapornamma and tries to convince her to get the building evacuated. He bypasses corrupt inspectors and bureaucrats, who have already used the major portion of funds to funnel the money for their personal interests.
The ticking-clock story ratchets up the tension, when the characters, soaked in alcohol, at the birthday party, start the blame game after learning about the current status of the poorly maintained apartment. After blatant and aggressive accusations fly left and right, the mayor uncovers the fact that the entire city council is rotten to the core. But she tries to convince the realtor Karamchand Bherulal to provide shelter to those 800 inhabitants for two months in his ready-to-move luxury apartments so that the evacuation can happen immediately. Unfortunately, all her efforts go in vain.
All Thumbs Up
All the characters have done an extremely great job and have tried to convey the message, loud and clear. The play’s dark, nighttime color palette clearly portrays our modern-day society and the challenges that a common man faces with societal disparity caused by the bad behavior of the ruling class.
Read more related to this drama: https://www.bangalorean.com/blog/muttala-drama/