Svetlana Berger’s ingenious set starts in your regular interview room in a
police station: a table, a couple of chairs, bare walls, barred
Those walls will slip aside to reveal a living room, then the
“It ain’t necessarily so,” sings Sportin’ Life in Porgy
and Bess, and what isn’t necessarily so set-wise also haunts the events of
Mashiach’s Purim Parade. In it, an expanding tissue of lies and half-truths
enmeshes the characters, for whom truth seems to be a prop rather than a value,
absolute or otherwise.
The police have summoned dentist Ben Maller (Ohad
Shachar) for routine questioning in what may become a charge of malpractice.
Genialfaced Ohad Knoller plays his police interviewer, Inspector Eli Balaban,
who plays good/bad cop as the situation seems to demand, and who is himself
trying to come to terms with the death of a suspect during his previous
Getting in on the act are his colleague and best buddy
Micha (Oded Leopold) and Eli’s wife Naomi (Tamar Keenan).
represented in the commandment at Purim to drink “ad lo yada,” is not to get
blind drunk, but, according to learned commentaries, to reach the state of
pleasant befuddlement in which the absolutes of good and evil get blurred. Why
that’s desirable, the commentary doesn’t seem to say, and its particular
application to Purim Parade is not apparent.
Purim Parade lacks a
At best, it’s an agglomeration of interlocking incidents, like a
soap opera, and that’s a pity if only because of the way Shachar and Knoller in
particular play off each other.
The increasing ferocious exchanges
between them ratchet up the tension fiercely.
Leopold and Keenan ably
help maintain it.
What saves Purim Parade in the end is that director
Ninio has infused its characters with the uneasy knowledge that their reasoning
is faulty and their actions questionable.