The Midnight Hotel: The story of sounds and VFX

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

A haunted hotel. Too clichè? May be not. But, would you dare to stay at a place with flyings sofas, wobbly key-chain holders and chandeliers suspended in mid-air?

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar
A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Midnight Hotel, written by Shreekumar Varma, was directed by the legendary theatre artiste Mitran Devanesan about a decade ago. His student, Victor Paulraj, decided to stage the play recently in his honour recreate the magic that it did in the past.

The plot

Hari, the brother of the deceased owner of a hotel in Pondicherry, returns to India after a stint in the United Kingdom (UK). He soon engages in the conversation with Usha, his sister-in-law and former lady-love and finds out that the hotel is not doing well. As time progresses, he begins to learn more about the other residents (including the ‘permanent guests’) of the hotel – including Vyas – a ‘futile’ writer, Vidya – an internet whiz and Ronnie – the hotel manager. It was not long before Hari discovered the reason behind the hotel’s bleak status and is entrusted with a tough task.

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar
A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

VFX, sound, and more VFX

The play is a visual treat. With a wide array of special effects, the play kept the audiences engaged with an occasional ‘awe’ during various scenes. It was also hilarious.

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar
A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Ronnie – the show man

The character, Ronnie, had appealed to the audiences almost instantly. His jarring red blazer, the hissing accent and his emotional self had worked wonders.

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar
A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Crisper, perhaps?

For a horror-comedy, the play was rather long. The plot had only begun to thicken during the second half of the play, while the rest continued to be game of mere dialogues. There seemed to have been plenty of time to communicate amidst the fears and poor business at the hotel.

My take

A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar
A scene from Midnight Hotel, directed by Victor Paulraj. Photo: Gitanjali Diwakar

Watch the play for its lights and magic, but ensure that the story lingers somewhere in your mind.