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What happens in a ‘Ladies Room’?

Ashima Chibber

Ashima Chibber  

Director Ashima Chibber hopes the new web series will help unravel that mystery

Y-Films, the division of Yash Raj Films that caters to a young audience, claims that its new web series Ladies Room is bold enough to go where no man has — into women’s loos and listen in to conversations.

The six-episode web series stars Shreya Dhanwanthary and Saba Azad. Written by Ratnabali Bhattacharjee and Neha Kaul Mehra, the series is directed by Ashima Chibber, who made her directorial debut with Mere Dad ki Maruti.

What would you expect two women to talk about? Men? Relationships? Ashima breaks that notion. “In this series, you won’t hear these girls talking about their boyfriends or who dumped whom. At least that’s not the focus. The two are in their mid 20s, and through their talk, you understand the worlds they come from. They discuss their workplace, aspirations, promotions, colleagues and life in general,” says Ashima.

Razor-sharp wit and smart dialogue delivery, Ashima feels, will make the series work. Ashima stepped into the making of Ladies Room when the script was ready. She wanted two women who looked young but came with some life experience. “For instance, Shreya (Dhanwanthari) has experiences outside of acting as well. She has authored a book. She is slim, tall, looks hot and has brains to boot,” explains Ashima.

For the crew, the challenge was to shoot within cramped spaces of different washrooms.

The story unfolds over a period of time, so the women are spotted in both plush and basic washrooms. “Women’s washrooms have more mirrors than that of men. When we were setting up the cameras, we had to ensure that the equipment and the crew shouldn’t be visible from any of the reflecting surfaces,” says Ashima.

At times, crew members would set up the lights and step out and the cinematographer had to be camouflaged to stay invisible. The small spaces didn’t allow much room for movement. “If you’re shooting outdoor, you could run with a steadycam and viewers would know the work that’s gone into it. Telling a story with still cameras isn’t easy. We would shoot 12 to 15 pages of the script each day and I wanted to ensure that the stories of the two women, which lie outside of the washrooms, are conveyed through what happens inside,” she says.

Ashima is working on Mere Dad ki Maruti 2 and another comedy feature is in the offing. In the meantime, the web series was an opportunity to experiment without the pressure of having to meet box office requirements. “In a feature film, you are concerned that the producer should get his money back,” she contrasts.

Ladies Room will be unveiled online on May 31.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:22:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/what-happens-in-a-ladies-room/article8649727.ece

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