FRIDAY REVIEW

Neha in a new role

NO REGRETS Neha Dhupia says she still stands by her role in Julie. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

NO REGRETS Neha Dhupia says she still stands by her role in Julie. Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

As Siskiyan opens this Friday, one feature we already know. We are again going to see Neha Dhupia in a power-packed role, but this time fully clothed! And Neha admits this.

"I didn't sign it for being a woman-oriented film. I went for Siskiyan because I haven't seen myself on camera like this before. Also I wanted to be part of new age cinema which films like Siskiyan are promoting." Neha plays a journalist Ayesha in the film set in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots.

"The film doesn't delve into the working of a journalist but is a sort of metaphor to present the strength of the character. Earlier, it used to be an army background or cop, today it is journalist."

She says its good time for Hindi cinema, for, women are getting to play different roles. "We no longer get stereotypical roles. And we are second only to Hollywood in terms of films. We have a huge television and radio industry. This gives birth to new characters be it radio jockey or a journalist."

In the one night story, based on the play "Death and the maiden", Ayesha happens to meet Dr. Vishwas (played by Sonu Sood) in her house. Now Ayesha believes that the doctor had raped her during the unrest and wants to take revenge. However, her husband played by Sachin Khedekar doesn't support her for he believes she can't be sure as she was blindfolded.

"Also in a country where taking the names of Hindus and Muslims together raises eyebrows, director Ashwini Choudhary has dealt with the subject sensitively. It questions the basic trust in humanity." She also gives full credit to Sachin for making her understand the nuances of serious cinema.

Does she regret that she was once "Julie"? "Not at all. It was a strong character but in the course of publicity, out of 60 scenes, only the three bold ones were highlighted. It was not in my control. Still I stand by Julie, for, without her I wouldn't have progressed to Ayesha." Isn't it ironical that in times of so-called new age cinema, we need skin to sell a subject? "It is, but I believe that was a phase and we are through with it."

Not really. We just saw her in "Kya Kool Hain Hum", where rib tickling got a whole new meaning. "The film has done remarkably well at the box office. First the media asks whether a particular film or subject will work. When it works it again questions why it has worked... bachche ki jaan loge kya?"

Well, that's what they call getting into the skin of the character!

ANUJ KUMAR

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