As it usually happens, I was going through the newspaper for plays around town and stumbled upon the ad for ‘The Scent of a Man’. I thought , ‘Hey a play about perfumes’ and quickly booked tickets. I went with this story to get all my friends on board, who trusted me blindly and came along. It was when I got there that I explained to them that this play could be about absolutely anything and that I had no idea what it was about, really. After I got some deathly stares which I bravely dodged by ducking under the seat, we sat down. Since we took some real cheap tickets, we had a side view of the stage. We did shift to a slightly better view only for the people who were actually sitting there to turn up and causing 7 of us to shift back to our original positions. Finally settled, the play began.
The play is about couples and married life. Because in real life, in movies and on whatsapp, the troubles of married life have been guffawed over so many times, it fails to pique anyone’s interest in the first go. The play starts off with a regular premise- the husband (Nikhil played by Ashwin Mushran) is late and the wife (Mallika played by Suchitra Pillai) is annoyed. Much of what happens in these scenarios usually ensues. Which is, a volley of wisecracks thrown between the lead couple. To add to the proceedings, Tupperware lady (I think Bhavna Pani) shows up and ends up securing a rather forceful invite to dinner from the husband Nikhil.
Tupperware lady Ananya shows up for dinner with her husband in tow (Partho played by Deven Khote). There is an undercurrent that most people will be able to sense. There are judgements passed, lines of fidelity toed and an occasional joke causes a flutter in the audience. However, overall, the writing and dialog is average and the premise is very shaky and lacks meat. I am a little surprise that they call it the raunchiest play because barring a few lines, there wasn’t much that would cause the prudes to rise up in arms.
Play: The Scent of a Man
Cast: Suchitra Pillai, Bhavna Pani, Ashwin Mushran and Deven Khote
Director: Ashvin Gidwani
Set: The play is set in the couple’s swanky apartment
Show: The 5pm show at Tata Theatre, NCPA
The wallet is lighter by : Rs.300 per seat booked on bookmyshow. Book early and gun for the B,C and D blocks.
Duration: 90 minutes without a break
Destress quotient: 2.5 AAHs
Verdict: Very average story, decent acting but the issues are skimmed over, forgiveness is easily granted and mostly it looks like the couples don’t give a damn about each other.