Sparkling wit, heady word play
‘What it hurts by wit, it heals by morals’, or so goes an ancient saying about the function of satire. Siddharth Kumar’s The Interview is satire-proper.
The plot is simple: a needy, middle-class boy is about to be interviewed for a ‘dream-job’ that would ‘take care’ of all his problems. Problems such as a huge debt, father’s medical treatment, his impending marriage etc.
The Dark: Insidious boss, cut-throat competitive colleague, sexually-exploited secretary and amidst them our bechara, middle-class chokra and his middle-class helplessness.
The Comic: One ought to compliment Akarsh Khurana and his talented troupe of actors for giving life to a very witty and tersely-written play.
Exploration of the bizarre: The denouement consists of a ‘dead body’.
To conclude: A very deftly written script, executed with exquisite finesse. Its power lies in not sagging into spongy sentimentality and its strength is its sparkling wit, heady word play and superb comic timing.
Satire at its best
Akvarious Productions takes the image we have of a conventional interview, and turns it upside down in this play. Essentially one act, the brilliant stage design incorporates a world outside the interview room as well. The viewer is hooked with unpredictability, as the interviewee transcends in the turn of events from a shy man to a commanding authority, challenging the interviewer. This sort of transition that takes a lifetime is shown brilliantly in a concise 80 minutes!
This is satire at its most ‘cut-throat’ form. The play never tries to be preachy, yet comments harshly on the extent to which people go for their greed. The hastiness and superficiality of corporates are remarkably portrayed, using inanimate objects like the fake lie-detector. The subtlety with which each performer treats his part is beautiful.
Easily, this one would qualify as the most interesting interview I’ve ever attended! Eleven out of ten. And of course, a smiley face.
Jithin Emmanuel Jacob
Road, Kadavanthra P.O.
The cruel corporate world
It sketched the big bad corporate world through an interview that is a farce. The Interview from Akvarious presents the desperate attempts of a candidate to woo his employer. The play takes the bizarre route when the employer offers a drink to the candidate, threatens him to get candid with his sexual exploits and submits the latter to a fake lie detector. Deception and hypocrisy are the recurring themes, the candidate trying to deceive the employer, the employer trying to get rid of his mistress secretary.
The impeccable stage design was unobtrusive, yet it exploited the space to the full to incorporate the many rooms, doors and corridors. When the comic elements reveal the irony, the dark contours are explored when the secretary gets murdered and the onus is on the candidate to hide the crime. It is indeed a stark portrayal of life in all its oddities and ugliness.
Get the job done
The Interview uses humour but the laughter amongst the audience was sometimes distinctly bittersweet – a collective thought-bubble of having been there but not necessarily having done that. Get the drift? The protagonist, a young desperate applicant cruising through his own existential crises needs a job in a large corporation. The interviewer is a typical top dog who occasionally rests on his laurels and his nimble high-heeled secretary - in turns.
Completing the picture is an existing employee walking the tightrope of sanity struggling to claw into the next rung.
A veiled suggestion and he topples into the murky but now familiar world of ‘getting ahead’ in life.
The carrots and the sticks fly thick and fast, the centre of power shifting crazily between the characters depending on who knew how much about whom.
The play wouldn’t have been so enjoyable without the lighting and set design adding to the ambience.
5B, Skyline Palmshade
Pay and perks
The Interview, is an excellent depiction of how gruesome an interview can be. The unexpected but quirky twists added spice to whole act. It put a spotlight on the attention and recognition seeking nature of the existing employee, who sees the new candidate as a threat to his career.
Moreover, the nature of the newly emerging offices and the working atmosphere there, that has made relations between colleagues more personal than just being co-workers. It also shows the brutality of the society towards women and how they have become goods to chuck out after perusal.
The job seeking candidate who has no other go than do whatever the company demands, shows the helplessness of the credit card surviving young population jumping from one job to another, taking the pay and perks offered. All characters seemed like living depictions of people whom we get to see in our lives everyday. The fun was not lost for a second which kept audience seated through out the play.
Hats off to director Akarsh Khurana and crew.
Intrigue and suspense
Through a seemingly innocuous interview that twists and catapults into a multiple layered tale replete with intrigue and suspense The Interview throws light into the darker shades of human character.
Garnished with copious amount of original humour, the audience seldom had a break from laughter. The strength of the play is undoubtedly the ingenious script and incredible performances from the entire cast.
The nervousness of the candidate in the initial moments of the interview that transforms into a stoic acceptance of the reality drained off of all emotions remains the high point of the play.
Kudos to the Metro Plus team for an encore edition of the ever delightful Theatre Fest.
Eric Eldho Paul
KalavoorE-76, Federal Park
Vennala P O,
A power play
A power ‘play’ it was. I couldn’t find any other word or rhetoric expressions to describe, review or defragment its bold callousness of dark humour. ‘The Interview’ was cold blooded fun! I didn’t perceive in my wildest of uninvited thoughts that an interview could be this moving or gripping. The play was well-refined that it felt nothing less than a single shot movie. Mise en scène and actor choreography did blend well.
The Interview, mocks the corporate scuffles and tussles. In its most prudent, transparent-diplomatic best it ruthlessly peels off the façade. It evokes in us many questions –should I or should I not? Questions that we seek, while we are in a similar kind of situation, brash brunt to push one day to live the next, dreaming that our dreams would soon turn around. We all play along with this play.
The Corporate jungle
An intense 85 minutes peeled away the layers of corporate sophistication, one by one. Squealing in laughter at the nervous plight of the candidate, we cringed simultaneously, in uncomfortable recognition. Impressive credentials and exposure were merely superficial requirements. The real manic test lay in how cheap the candidate could rise to be. Euphemisms and foul vocabulary, grey lies and cowardice, bravado and insecurity lined the lives of the top executives. Only the invisible mirror and black leather stood witness to the secrets they tried to hide. The meandering script took a sudden twist with a reversal of roles, immersing us into the corporate logic of covering one mistake with a bigger one. The comic irony lies in the fact that the candidate lands the job for reasons out-of-syllabus! Be it the pathetic infidel of a boss, the cut-throat employee or the size zero secretary, the actors depicted skilfully that when one loses the sense of shame, they become no more than an animal, fighting to survive and surviving to exist – in a corporate jungle or otherwise.
Susan Paul Mathew