Konkona Sen Sharma : An Actor of Substance


Once in a blue moon our silver screen gets illuminated by actors who cast a spell of amazing performance and linger in our memory for longer time, perhaps years to come. One such actor is Konkona Sen Sharma.

She is amongst the rare breed of actors who have successfully dabbled both Hindi Cinema and Bengali Cinema simultaneously, cementing her position as one of the most remarkable actors our country has to offer.

I haven’t read, heard and seen anyone, literally, not even a single person, writing her off either for her appearance, choices of films she makes or in her performance she delivers, this itself says a lot about her caliber of talent. Give her any role and watch how effortlessly she pull it off and molds herself into the character, turning it memorable and individualistic.

I have listed 15 films of her (Mainly Hindi Cinema, I am yet to watch her Bengali films, and do look forward to catch it as soon as possible) that demonstrate Konkona’s acting adroitness and remains the best amongst her equally talented contemporaries existing in the Industry.

Mr and Mrs. Iyer (2002) :

Mr and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

Mr and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

Directed by Aparna Sen, This English language film revolves around two fellow travelers belonging to different religion and captures the evolution of the tender relationship that forms between them amidst the sectarian riot.

The film was widely appreciated for Sen’s intriguing story-telling and sensitive characterization. Konkona successfully humanizes Meenakshi Iyer, getting the mannerism, nuance and etiquettes perfect and owns the film with her genuinely affectionate performance. Such was the impact of her performance on the jury members that she was awarded the prestigious National Award for Best actress.

Page 3 (2005) :

Page 3 (2005)

Page 3 (2005)

With this successful mainstream film,  Konkona was finally recognized by wide movie-going audience (Unlike her previous films that were limited to regional demography). She was cast as Madhavi Sharma, a responsible journalist assigned to cover the Page 3 events happening in the city. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, The film exposed the darkest underbelly of the glitz and glamor world of Entertainment.

Amu (2005) :

Amu (2005)

Amu (2005)

This evocative English Language drama (directed by Shonali Bose) was censored for theme that dealt with the sensitive Anti-Sikh war that broke on the fateful year of 1984. Amu (played convincingly by Konkona) returns to India with the quest to find her biological parents until she joins the dots and manages to uncover a truth that’s bound to change her life forever.

15 Park Avenue (2006) :

15 Park Avenue (2006)

15 Park Avenue (2006)

This film was helmed by usually master director Aparna Sen and had wow cast that includes stellar performances from Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman, Rahul Bose. Yet, It’s Konkona, who stole every scene as Meethi, A schizophrenic young girl, who tends to slip into her created disillusioned world where she is happily married with five kids.

Omkara (2006) :

Omkara (2006)

Omkara (2006)

A film that wouldn’t turn Shakespeare on his grave, Omkara was an excellent modern-day adaptation of the beloved playwright’s tragedy ‘Othello’ by Vishal Bharadwaj, set against the background of Uttar Pradesh’s political turmoil.

While Saif Ali Khan, who played the antagonist Langda Tyagi (Lago), stole the thunder for portraying a character shattering his exotic image to play a menacing foul-mouthed chap; Konkona played his wife Indu Tyagi (Emilia) with gusto yet again fetching her National Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006) :

Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006)

Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006)

Directed by Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, This wonderful yet underrated film had four life changing stories that eventually forms a link to the 9/11 events. Konkona appears in one of the story, playing Tillotama Punj, a newly wedded wife, who will go any length to join her husband in the US in order to get rid of her tormenting mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who scheme malicious plan to keep them away.

Life in a … Metro (2007) :

Life in a... Metro (2007)

Life in a… Metro (2007)

One of the most celebrated films of recent times, The film boost many terrific actors aided by an uncompromisingly original story saluting the spirit of Mumbai.

Amidst the interesting characters, emerges Shruti Ghosh, 30-something single ready to mingle and yearning to break her virginity. Shruti comes across as a real woman who refuses to be suppressed by any social norms, doesn’t find any need to feel shame about her ideas of having sex and has no qualms waiting for Mr.Right, Konkona stands out with her natural approach and seems very comfortable to remain real, her chemistry with Irrfan (another biggest strength) is in-fact film’s best moments top cherish.

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) :

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007)

Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007)

Regressive and icky film on City’s oldest profession.

This Pradeep Sarkar’s directed film (after his sensitive directorial debut Parineeta) was a complete letdown as it fed more on manipulative, old-fashioned tear-jerk mechanism of narration giving us a lead that was nothing less than a cultural scapegoat.

Thankfully, Konkona’s ‘Chutki’ was the only mature and progressive character that hardly presses the melodramatic button and to be honest, appeared vivacious and gave us light moments to remember this otherwise plodding bore.

Aaja Nachle (2007) :

Aaja Nachle (2007)

Aaja Nachle (2007)

The film was hyped as grand comeback vehicle for Madhuri Dixit (who had returned to silver screen after 5 years).

Director Anil Mehta and Writer Jaideep Sahni had created a world filled withreal characters of small town and a potential winning story of saving a dance podium from the hands of political hooligans.

The film may not have worked, However, it did reveal a boisterous side of Konkona playing a feisty tomboy who has designs for a goon and her desperate attempts to seek his attention. It’s refreshing because it was a never-seen-before kind of role for her that didn’t require any serious histrionic, yet she made Anokhi so believable and her mischief were indeed adorable.

Dil Kabbadi (2008) :

Dil Kabaddi (2008)

Dil Kabaddi (2008)

Based on Woody Allen’s masterpiece ‘Husbands and Wives’, Dil Kabbadi closely examines the nature of relationship shared by urban couples with humor.

Every actor did essay their part well but it was Konkona, along with Irfan, who was terrific as Simi, trapped in the loveless marriage, embarking a journey to find true love outside the boundary set by wedlock

Luck By Chance (2009) :

Konkona Sen Sharma as Sona Mishra

Luck By Chance (2009)

Zoya Akhtar’s Directorial debut film was a class apart. It has not only poked fun on Bollywood but also convincingly explored the struggle of every dreamer who yearns to enter the dark, manipulative world of Hindi Cinema.

Konkona Played Sona Mishra, a small town struggling actress with a dream to make it big in a the movie industry, only to find herself working as television actor earning good income for her living. The climax where she narrates her rag-to-somewhat rich story to reporter had me lump-in-the-throat.

Wake Up Sid (2009) :

Wake Up Sid (2009)

Wake Up Sid (2009)

Ranbir Kapoor was the star of the film playing couch potato Sid Mehra who has no ambition in life until he meets a soul in his city who changes his life one fine day.

Konkona’s Calcutta-based Ayesha Banerjee is a catalyst that transforms Sid from a reckless college going lad to a responsible man with words, Her bonhomie with Ranbir is highly infectious and both shared strikingly warm chemistry. Effortless !

Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? (2010) :

Atithi Tum kab Jaaoge? (2010)

Atithi Tum kab Jaaoge? (2010)

A family film about an uninvited guest creating chaos in the life of a metropolitan couple, Ashwini-Dhir directed film had great comic moments and had a cast comprising of solid talents like Paresh Rawal,Konkona and Ajay Devgn.

Unlike films that were released before had humor that was pedestrian and gross, Atithi was a clever film, Konkona was seen having fun, slipping to her hilarious side. She doesn’t say jokes as such but her reaction to miserable situations she is placed is timely perfect and holds the film despite being pitted with giants in the form of Ajay and Paresh.

Ek Thi Daayan (2013) :

Ek Thi Daayan (2013)

Ek Thi Daayan (2013)

A witchcraft tale went completely right. Director Kannan Iyer avoid using props of Ramsay horror and instead choose to scare us psychologically, urging us to participate in this thrilling story of a guilt-ridden successful magician scarred by the hallucination of a witch who continues to haunt him over the years.

Konkona played Diana the witch with great sense of eerie, the first half was entirely spooky thanks to her commendable act of daayan.

Talvar (2015) :

Talvar (2015)

Talvar (2015)

A chilling re account of Aarushi-Hemraj Murder case that shook the nation, Director Meghna Gulzar & writer Vishal Bharadwaj dig out manipulation and botched up investigation conducted upon the police procedural, adapting a ‘Rashomon’ style of narration creating three crime scenes indicating the possibility of the murder.

Konkona plays Nutan Tandon (Based on Nupur Talwar), a mother who lost her only child to the fateful night of 15th March under mysterious murder and before she could even mourn her, finds herself and her husband Ramesh (Equally competent Neeraj Kabi) accused for plotting the double homicide.

Though the film was backed by Irfan’s Solid performance, Sen played Nutan with certain ambiguity & disturbing silence. An emotionally gnawing performance.

(Deadline :Sirf 24 ghante, Mirch and Gour Hari Das has been not included as I haven’t seen it)

She will be appearing in upcoming projects like Prakash Jha’s production ‘Lipstick Waale Sapne’ and A.R.Murugadoss’s ‘Akira’ co-starring Sonakshi Sinha and Amit Sadh.

Look forward to be enchanted by the majestically talented actor.

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