DTU Times interviewed Sucharita Tyagi, film critic and former radio DJ, who was at Yuvaan Literature and Film Festival for a panel discussion.
How has your experience been at DTU so far?
I was brought up in Delhi and grew up in Rohini which is minutes away from DTU. I have brought my parents here today since it was my father’s aspiration for me to get admitted in DCE, as it was called then. I remember that I went to get forms as soon as I graduated high school but did not fill them up. So, it is surreal coming back to this prestigious institution.
Do you think there has been a resurgence in terms of movie content in the past few years?
‘Content’ is such vast term. You get numerous layers and brilliant plots in the movies today. You might have some exceptions, but movies like Newton and Andhadhun which are excellently researched, edited and written portray progress in terms of the quality of movies. An upcoming mainstream movie titled, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’ along with several movies with strong female leads are prime examples depicting that times are changing, but we still have a long way to go.
Naseeruddin Shah stated that the films being made should mirror our society, what is your take on his statement?
I agree with his statement and the fact that directors have a huge responsibility on their shoulders today. The fact that movies are still one of the largest sources of mass communication in our country led to the formation of the Film Critics Guild. Movies remain an important tool to send out a message to the people and that is why we have a motto at our association that states, ‘Holding Cinema Accountable’. We need to keep reminding the public about which film is trying to portray what all aspects and peel the plot of the movie layer by layer to present it in front of the audience for what it actually represents.
Do you think movie critics affect the earnings of films?
I don’t think critics have much of an impact on big budget films. I believe that the audience knows about the content they wish to consume and they will go to multiplexes if they want to watch a particular movie regardless of what any critic says. I think we should give our people enough credit as they reject any movie with a poor script, direction or acting even though it might be starring popular leads. Critics make a difference when it comes to less popular movies such as ‘Laila Majnu’, a low budget film I reviewed earlier. People who had missed it watched it later on an OTT platform and thanked me for my suggestion. I believe this is where we make a difference. We give voice to low budget film producers to popularise their content among the audience.
What are your views on censorship in our country? Do you think changing the title of a movie affects the way an audience perceives it?
According to me, there should not be any censorship in films. We should just have a board to give a certain rating to a film and then let the audience decide whether they want to watch it with their parents, friends or children. The board should not have the authority to delete a scene or mute a piece of dialogue from the film.
I don’t think changing the title of films affects the perception of the masses about the movie. Last year, Hannah Gadsby’s stand up show was Netflix’s most successful stand up show of the year. It was named ‘Nanette’ for no particular reason. The comedian met a woman named Nanette and named the show after her. There was no mention of the woman in that show, which shows that names and titles are often irrelevant when it comes to films and shows.
From a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Yuvaan?
On a scale of one to ten, Yuvaan 2019 is 12… minutes away from where I live!