Ladies Room: Director Ashima Chibber reveals everything you need to know about Y-Films’ raunchy new web series [Exclusive]

Arjun Varma
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Arjun Varma

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Arjun is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who, before stepping into the glamorous world of entertainment reporting, assisted acclaimed filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan.
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Arjun Varma
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“Ladies Room is ALL HEART!” says a passionate Ashima Chibber about her new, raunchy web series for Y-Films.

The initial teasers and trailers may give the impression that the 6-episode show is another funny, rib tickling (although rather unusual) comedy web series from the Yash Raj stable but according to the director, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Chibber, who directed the 2013 hit comedy “Mere Dad Ki Maruti” for Y-Films, believes “Ladies Room” is a show “where women are presented as the way they are.” Ahead of the show’s first episode release, the director spoke with TubeScoop about “Ladies Room” and gave a brutally honest answer to why women spend so much time in the bathroom – “it’s not just for hair and makeup.” Check out the fun interview below.

How and when did you come on board to direct Ladies Room? Were you involved with scripting?

Actually the script came to me, I read it and thought it was crackling and that’s how I came on board. I wasn’t involved at all in the scripting process but once you come on board as a director, obviously you make directorial changes.

ashima chibberWhat was your initial reaction when you heard the concept? 

You know, women-oriented stuff is coming up quite a lot in the last 3-4 years. Everyone is thinking of ways to make material about women because it’s doing well, it’s easy to cast, etc. But I was thinking, ‘what is left to say that has not been said already.’ When I read this script, I felt, ‘yes…this is new.’ They’re new girls, it’s a new way of talking, new way of seeing them, new way of presenting them, new setting for a story and a challenge.

Is every episode a separate story or is it one story which plays out over all 6 episodes?

Well, every episode has a story…independently as well. So, if you were to see episode 4, you will know exactly what has happened prior. Of course, there is a continuing story but it’s like Friends – if you watch any episode of Friends, it’s not like you need to have seen earlier episodes to get hooked on to it. So, this is usually the sort of victory of the show – that aage-peeche ke bina bhi it works.

How was it like to shoot in small, restricted spaces?

This was a tough shoot because equipment is not your friend. You can’t use things like zoom lenses, track trolleys, slow-motion work etc – these are all tools of the director which make the scene interesting or the mounting of the story interesting. So, all of those frills are gone. Now you’re left cleanly with two faces and dialogues. How you make that energetic, interesting and watchable is the real challenge. Otherwise a YouTube video of just 2 people talking is boring.

Ladies Room is such a huge departure from the Yash Raj brand of content which essentially revolves around the subject of love and wedding…

 You know, the thing is, I find wedding films and wedding backdrops very fucked up. Also, even in my own film [Mere Dad Ki Maruti], the fuck up at the wedding was actually what made the wedding interesting for me.

But when I read this, I thought you know, women are not about sorrow, and all women don’t express sorrow in the same way. Women are about emotion and about positive emotions and…it sounds pretentious but it is true (laughs), and in this show women are presented as the way they are.

Which is?

See, condition of women in this country is fucked up beyond repair. Now, how do women handle it? Like my own maid, she has a tough life; drunken husband, wife beater, kids not treating her well, she works in people’s houses, washes their dirty clothes, how does she live her life?  – Humour.

It’s always humour. Women always resort to humour because they’re dealing with some emotion or the other, and that is what the gut of this story is.

Your favourite scene from the series

I have so many. Actually in the third episode, there are scenes in this clinic which are hilarious. There’s a judgemental nurse and she tells these girls who come there, “You have not written the husband’s name here. Who’s the father? I need to know who the father is.”

(Mimicking a south India accent) “Should I write here – ‘I don’t know’? Is that the name of the father? – Don’t Know?” (Laughs)

Read more: Ashima Chibber gets candid on why women spend so much time in the bathroom

“Ladies Room” tells the story of two BFFs – Dingo and Khanna – who find themselves in bizarre situations in the weirdest of places – the women’s bathroom! You can watch the first two episodes below.

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