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Critically speaking

One look at them and you know that they are not run-off-the-mill pretty faces. Add to that intelligent conversation about films and the verity of the previous statement is confirmed.

Written by Rohan Swamy |
July 30, 2009 3:37:11 am

One look at them and you know that they are not run-off-the-mill pretty faces. Add to that intelligent conversation about films and the verity of the previous statement is confirmed. For Neha Sareen and Ira Dubey — hosts of the television show Chicks on Flicks — reviewing movies is not just another job but a way of life.

“The show was primarily conceptualised to give an impetus to the English film market in India and to also let movie-goers know which movies were worth watching. We were given a free hand to decide about the contents of the show. The spontaneity and the chemistry between Ira and me is the reason why we are doing so well on the show,” says Sareen.

“A little-known fact about the show is that we do not have any writers. So everything that Neha and I do is mostly written by us or spontaneous on-screen stuff. Both of us had a rigorous,three-month long training,where we read about various styles of cinema,directors,movies and genres,” says Dubey. “Film reviewing came to us easily since both of us have taken courses in film appreciation. However,we had also decided that the show would not confuse the movie goer. We would simply pass a verdict on whether to catch it or trash it,” she adds.

In the city to conduct a film appreciation workshop on the movie Closer,at the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC),both Sareen and Dubey have definite ideas about reviewing films. “There are times on the show where both Neha and I have disagreements regarding a particular film. The whole point of the show is that there are bound to be differences,due to a variation in opinion,but what we want to present to the viewer is letting him know whether the movie is good or not. To put it in simple terms,the show is a functional Hollywood review show,” says Dubey.

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On her stint as a theatre artiste,Dubey says,“Theatre is an actor’s medium of expression. I have done television and movies but theatre has that special place in my heart. In many ways,even on the show both Neha and I have a flair for spontaneity due to our theatre backgrounds. ”

Speaking about the film Closer,Sareen says,“The film deals with the complexities associated with adult relationships and the finer nuances that go into making a relationship successful. What is interesting to note about these films is that they delve into the psychology of modern day relationships and try to explain the complexities of the same.”

On future projects,Dubey says,“Well,as of now,I am working on Girish Karnad’s play The Wedding Album,and also a couple of other plays which are yet in the rehearsal stage. I will also be doing a movie for Anil Kapoor’s home production entitled Aisha,which is loosely adopted from the English film Emma,wherein I will be playing the role of the lead character’s best friend. ”

Talking about her favourite directors,Sareen says,“I am a huge fan of Martin Scorsese,Ron Howard,and Quentin Tarantino. They have this ability to make successful cinema,which transcends the boundaries of genres and brings in an element of reality.”

Adding to the list of names of Sareen’s favourite directors,Dubey says,“Clint Eastwood, Sidney Pollack and our very own Satyajit Ray are my favourite. I think Madhur Bhandarkar makes very realistic films. And that is what audience or critics like to see. Stories of the people,for the people,” adds Ira with a deep smile.

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