Natakame Ulakam Lampoons Its Way to 200 Episodes


Natakame Ulakam Completing 200 Episodes

Natakame Ulakam Completing 200 Episodes

Natakame Ulakam Lampoons Its Way to 200 Episodes

Amrita TV’s  Natakame Ulakam, Kerala’s pioneering political  satire show  crossed the rare milestone of 200 uninterrupted episodes on the 21st of March. Launched in 2006, the longest  running  show is  telecast every Saturday at 10.30 pm.

A wryly sarcastic commentary on the political scenario of the State, Natakame Ulakam tears away the virtuous masks worn by the politicians, to lay bare the deceitfulness and duplicity of the self-serving public men.

The programme consists of a wittily cynical monologue narrated by the script writer/ anchor  Dr T.K. Santosh Kumar which introduces the issues, comments on it and sometimes adds a tongue-in-cheek epilogue; this is interspersed with clippings of the major political actors  involved and sound bytes that are of relevance to the issue.

Quick cuts and repeated replays of certain appropriate ‘bits of action’, along with caricatures of  people caught up in the controversy, provides hilarious conformation or amusing contradictions to what has been stated in the monologue.

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Four years ago when Santosh hit upon the idea of a political lampoon, he had no model to follow since he was the first in the field. He turned for inspiration to Kunjan Nambiar the master of satire, who in another age and time had used the medium of Thullal poetry to mockingly criticize the entire society. Natakame Ulakom bears unmistakable signs of Nambiar’s influence: the commentary leans more towards a verse narrative recited in a distinctive rhythmic chant than the usual  prose  description ; the anchor tries to convey the meaning through facial expressions, hand gestures and tonal variations as well.

Searching for the droll angle in every problem, Santosh uses the vehicle of deprecating humor to drive home his point. He exploits every shade of satire from exaggeration to sarcasm and though the programme occasionally slips into the savage depths of scorn and derision, the monologue sticks to mild, ironic humour most of the time.

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Employing the devices of  comparison, analogy, double entendre etc the show brings to light the cunning ploys, the slick subterfuges and crafty ruses  of politicians , thereby exposing the hypocrisy and phoniness of those who masquerade as exemplary men of integrity. By disclosing the reality that in the guise of selflessly serving the nation, the public servants serve no one but themselves, it holds them up to ridicule.

As Santosh, in his self-assumed role of Vidooshak, mocks at the drama that is enacted on the political stage for the benefit of a gullible public, he can take pride in the fact that he is the frontiersman in the field of Television political satire who laid the groundwork for a whole new genre.

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