Tuesday 24 June 2008

Interview [1971]

Though one of his most underrated effort, Interview was perhaps a demonstration of the iconoclastic and anti-establishmentarian Mrinal Sen at his sublime best. There is nothing apolitical or evasive about any of this Marxist Bengali intellectual. The pseudo-documentary style feature is about an educated Calcuttan youth – ambitious, elitist and apolitical – preparing for an interview at a British firm, at a time when the anti-bourgeois Naxalite revolution is slowly reaching its zenith in the city. The movie catalogues how he goes about trying to get to the interview for the cherished job and an entry into the world of capitalism where the sharks rule, and how that journey turns out to be more than he bargained for. Ranjit Mallik, as the candidate, has given a smart and captivating depiction of the transformation that was but inevitable (considering that this is a Mrinal Sen feature). Even though as a viewer I was given more than a few hints as to the climax, but when it finally did arrive, the shock upon seeing the protagonist, throwing a stone at the European-dress clad mannequin, felt so unanticipated, that I reeled from the sort of blow that only this fiery auteur can concoct time and again.

Director: Mrinal Sen
Genre: Urban Drama/Political Drama/Social Satire/Slice of Life/Black Comedy
Language: Bengali
Country: India

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