Between guys

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Theatre “A Guy Thing” brings in flashes of the protagonists' lives, but falls short of its potential. P. ANIMA

“A Guy Thing” from Akvarious Productions probes into the idea of masculinity, but often doesn't delve deeper. A short, hilarious production based on Michael Puzzo's “The Dirty Talk”, “A Guy Thing” directed by Akarsh Khurana juxtaposes an alpha male often forced to temper his maleness, against an effeminate, random, chat roomer.

The battle lines are drawn early in the play. In a cramped hunting cabin, where Mitch and Lino are stuck as a raging storm and incessant rain lash outside, the very masculine Mitch marks the space for the rather diffident Lino.

For Mitch, Lino is meant to be in a corner, hiding behind a chest, reduced to being a voice that will only answer any queries Mitch has. The severe treatment meted out to Lino springs from Mitch's feeling of being cheated.

After a few steady years, Mitch's life is going downhill. His relationship of five years has ended abruptly and his solace predictably is a chat room where Lino engages in one of the oldest camouflages. In the virtual web, he is the voluptuous woman with a faint British accent. The flirtatious relationship between the two takes a different course when they decide to meet.

Lino comes to the isolated hunting cabin to know the man he has only chatted with. What emerge through their interaction are snapshots from their respective lives. Probably, that's where “A Guy Thing” falters; it never rises above giving just fleeting glimpses, never probing deeper into the causes.

If Mitch often feels the need to tone down his manliness, pretending to be the sensitive guy who would watch the rain with his girl, he is left with a lot of unsaid words and undone actions. There is much he wants to tell his dad for calling him “the girl he never had.” But then, he was busy being his “sensitive” self.

Lino, on the other hand, is more in tune with his real, quaint self, reconciling a lot to his effeminate personality. He, in a sense, teases Mitch to be in touch with his conscience. The hunting cabin has a deer head, Mitch's first hunt, on the wall. If for Mitch hunting is merely a “sport”, Lino pitches in it is “a sport in which the other team doesn't know it is playing.”

Together, they fill in each other's gaps. Yet never strike a lasting bond, but only a degree of amicability. When Lino ends with the Beatles' “Yesterday” there still seems to be an incomplete taunt in the air. When he croons, “I'm not half the man I used to be”, there are more dimensions to the line.

“A Guy Thing” gives us fleeting moments, but hardly anything tangible. Certain lines stay on, but their stories are only on their way to completion. Hussain Dalal and Adhaar Khurana as Lino and Mitch bring in conviction, while the set, with open suitcases, piled up boxes and old and weary chest and shelf, does evoke a sense of a quaint, abandoned cabins.



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