Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Autobahn

Autobahn by Neil LaBute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Understated and subtle, Neil LaBute's Autobahn shoves a series of characters into the confined space of the front seat of a car where the intensity of relationships is inescapable. These duologues tear into the basis of relationships in a quietly comic yet disturbing way. In a sense, it's classic LaBute.

I especially loved the trashy, almost deranged girlfriend whose needy, wheedling attitude manipulates her increasingly uncomfortable college boyfriend into not dumping her ("I'll find work. They have WalMarts all over").

This is comedy of the unsaid, in which the car becomes a prison where characters are forced to have conversations they would rather not have: a mother silently listens as she drives her daughter home from rehab, while the daughter cheerfully announces her intention to get straight back onto drugs; what looks like a father-daughter road trip is revealed as something far more sinister; a man's apology spirals downwards disastrously against the brick wall of his partner's silence.

These are disturbing yet funny vignettes.

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