Friday, January 20, 2012

(Un)usual contrivances of an (Un)usual interview!

(Review of play, ‘The Interview’ staged at India Habitat Center on December 3, 2011)

Though this particular day doesn’t mark the dooms day in any manner whatsoever, yet an interview is bound to cause butterflies in your stomach. Not anymore for this interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee shall jolt one’s perception for sure!

‘The Interview’ by Director, Akarsh Khurana and Writer, Siddharth Kumar tries to poke its nose into what all construes between a job-seeker and the man on the other side of table.

It was another chilling winter the capital was experiencing yet extending its quintessential warmth to the artists, as theater enthusiasts huddled together at the Stein Auditorium of India Habitat Center. Spotlight trails a young man, an interviewee (Karan Pandit) who has just arrived at an office for a job interview. Anxiety not only marks the contour of his face, an understandable tension is evident in the very ambience as you are literally pushed to the edge of your seats at least for a while!

Enter the man who is at the helm of affairs of this organization, a company that has escalated past several milestones. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the interviewer (Kashin Shetty) who takes control of the entire situation the moment he enters on to the stage. Just like a tiger stares hard into the eyes of its prey before pouncing hard upon the victim, the interviewer is relishing the beads of sweat on the forehead of poor chap sitting in front of him.

Unlike the usual contrivances of a typical interview what soon follows between these two individuals is comparable to a hilarious hurricane that carries the audience with its swirling movement. While casual reference to balls and ‘intercourse with teenager’ and the associated mirth went down well with the Delhi’s elite, what clicked on the personal front was the gesture of offering Vodka by the interviewer to the candidate in a bid to relieve him from mounting pressure of the bizarre situation. This two-some fantasy snowballs into a three-some botched up affair, (no, that’s far from treading on the lines of debauchery!) with the entry of the boss’ secretary (Prerna Chawla).

Conversation on predictable lines soon goes haywire as the interviewee experiences thunderbolt on being apprised of an extra-marital affair between the boss and his gorgeous secretary. Hang on beloved readers! That’s just the tip of iceberg for underneath lies a labyrinth comparable in many ways to the crass state of affairs at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (courtesy: The Office, a mockumentary)!

The entire stage space is well-utilized with the part just below the platform being worked out as the reception-cum-waiting area, adjoining to which a room is adorned with a mirror, no there wasn’t a literal mirror out there. But every time when one proceeded towards the arena, he would settle self in front of the glass making it look like a perfect dressing room. In midst of this mayhem the one who further contributes to ruckus arrives, he is Keith (Tariq Vasudeva) one of the subordinates of Boss-man who is insecure on several fronts. Henceforth a concoction is brewed to the hilt that takes everyone with surprise.

Whingeing secretary is asked forth to arrive at a deal with the boss and the middleman turns out to be none other than the interviewee. Poor fellow! He has compulsions of own that can’t be put on backseat, getting this job is very important to him. How can Keith be left behind, who thinks the nouveau smart chap would threaten his haven!

Crackling laughter and loads of grin on part of audience soon gives way to food for thought, how very tough it is to survive in the big flat world of sharks! As the boss finally asks Keith and the interviewee, now an employee on board to dispose of the secretary’s body, the glint of the revolving chair showcases that grouse, lust, greed and chicanery are in fact the tentacles of an evil monster, who looks upon the ‘Official Chair’ as the seat of complete dominance.