A powerhouse of expertise, Konkona Sensharma has planted her foot firmly in the business by exploring the art-house unbiased style to its finest capability, to not neglect her stellar directorial debut A Demise In The Gunj which premiered on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Competition (TIFF), in 2016.
The winner of two Nationwide awards, Sensharma, who proved her mettle with performances in movies like Web page 3, Wake Up Sid, Life In A Metro, and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, is as soon as once more getting rave critiques for her efficiency in Geeli Pucchi, one of many short movies from the not too long ago launched anthology Ajeeb Daastaans on Netflix. On this short, directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, Sensharma performs Bharati Mandal, a Dalit manufacturing unit employee whose job, promotion and respectability is threatened when a prettier, upper-caste, fair-skinned all-feminine lady Priya Sharma (Aditi Rao Hydari) joins in. There’s additionally an surprising friendship between the Brahmin white-collar colleague and a Dalit.
Sensharma is clearly thrilled with the suggestions that she has been getting for Geeli Pucchi. “I used to be dying to work with Ghaywan. I really like his work, he’s such a contemporary thinker, there’s something very modern about his outlook and I really like his politics and his aesthetics. After which I bought such a cool half…it is rather uncommon that you just get such a posh, well-rounded character to play,” says Sensharma. “I’ve usually stated that each one of us have a number of identities…I’m an Indian, I’m a mom, I’m an atheist, I’m a Bengali… all meshed collectively. However usually what occurs in movies is that we decide up only one thread, one angle and we look at it from there however in Geeli Pucchi we’re taking a look at completely different points of every character,” says Sensharma.
She furthers, “At the same time as Aditi’s character is from a dominant caste, whereas, my character shouldn’t be however each are equally affected by patriarchy which appears to be an ideal leveller. Bharati is a gray character and that’s the fantastic thing about Ajeeb Daastaans. Characters are barely morally ambiguous in these tales. There’s a twist in each story which I really like personally. I used to like Roald Dahl’s twisted tales, and right here too there’s a wholly surprising twist in the tip. It’s a revenge story, however it’s a revenge that you could perceive. Bharati has tried all the pieces to get what she rightfully deserves. She has a level, she is a tough employee, she requested for a increase however she by no means bought any of that, she was denied all this repeatedly. There are too many boundaries, too many hurdles that she has to beat. She needed to resort to different measures.”
Sensharma additionally agreed to do the venture as a result of she discovered “surrounded and supported” by many authentic voices that have been working on the movie. “Neeraj himself is a Dalit and he has come out of it. I knew it was an authentic voice which was essential. Not simply the director however even among the many crew there have been lot of various sorts of voices, so we had individuals from the LGBTQ neighborhood, from the Dalit neighborhood, we had academicians that have been doing analysis on it, and, after all, we had plenty of girls in the crew. I’m at all times comfortable to learn a personality that’s written with all these completely different complexities collectively permitting me to do one thing that I’ve by no means carried out earlier than. It was additionally an ideal accountability on my shoulder to play the half properly and convey the suitable factor,” says Sensharma. “Additionally, she furthers, “Taking part in Bharati was very liberating for me as a result of I needed to simply to put on these footwear and overalls and never fear about hair, make-up and wardrobe. I felt free and really enjoyable in some ways. Hair could be simply tied up and that was really easy. I actually loved it as a result of then I bought extra time to spend with everybody and on the position,” she says.
Sensharma says that plenty of making ready went into enjoying the character. In addition to referring to the script, she additionally learn books and watched films to get sure nuances proper. “There have been plenty of particulars in the script which was actually useful. Then, Neeraj gave me this unbelievable e book to learn referred to as Coming Out as Dalit written by Yashica Dutt. It was an eye-opener for me and I really feel it must be learn by everybody as a result of individuals are beneath this notion that the caste system in our nation doesn’t exist anymore. Neeraj additionally advised me to look at this film, Three Colors: Blue by Krzysztof Kieślowski which I had seen years again. On this movie, the protagonist by no means smiles however Bharati does smile and even jokes. My character is so candy and susceptible, and that’s what I like about it. I really feel if a personality is indignant you then don’t have to indicate them indignant on a regular basis, as a result of then there’s distinction and it exhibits just one tone and it’s not a whole, well-rounded character,” she says.
“Then, this lovely lesbian love story referred to as Beneath Her Mouth had deeply influenced me. I had watched this movie at TIFF once I had gone there for A Demise In The Gunj. The movie’s lead actress Erika Linder blew my thoughts and I actually channelled that rather a lot for taking part in Bharati Mandal. I had despatched some photos to Neeraj and my hair and costume division. After all, she is a Canadian, so the cultural markers are completely different, however the essence of the character is kind of related,” says Sensharma, “I really feel there are completely different sorts of masculinity. Personally; it’s not that I really feel like a lady on a regular basis. I’ve a person inside me someplace. I really feel many males should be having a model of a lady inside them. I imagine in human gender,” she additional provides.
Sensharma grew up with cinema with her celebrated actor-director mom Aparna Sen. Her grandfather, Chidananda Dasgupta, a movie critic, was a co-founder of the Calcutta Movie Society together with Satyajit Ray. Sensharma made her appearing debut as a baby artiste in a Bengali movie on the age of 4 and additional made her grownup debut in 2000 which was adopted by a task in Rituparna Ghosh’s acclaimed movie Titli reverse Mithun Chakraborty and Aparna Sen. Nevertheless, until then she wasn’t fairly positive about making her profession in the appearing career, and it was solely after she gained a Nationwide award for Mr and Mrs Iyer (2002) when she was simply 23 that she began taking her appearing profession severely. “I don’t know the way I lastly discovered a agency footing in cinema. My profession took off from Mr and Mrs Iyer as a result of after the movie and the award, I bought rather a lot many roles after which it was troublesome to get out of it. However until then my angle was, ‘Okay, theek hai, I’m doing one or two films on the aspect however now I’ve to look out for an actual job. I used to really take a look at the classifieds for a job (laughs).”
Sensharma could also be referred to as the completely different area actor who “dreaded” industrial movies and somebody who has usually urged individuals to help indie movies. However it’s not that she hasn’t carried out industrial films for giant manufacturing homes, with some even changing into big successes on the field workplace. As an illustration, Wake Up Sid, reverse Ranbir Kapoor. Nevertheless, she calls Madhur Bhandarkar’s Web page 3 as her first massive industrial hit, although she agrees that it wasn’t actually a industrial method movie. She has additionally been a part of Yash Raj banner’s Aaja Nachle and Laga Chunari Mein Daag. When requested if none of those tempted her to chase stardom, pat comes the reply, “I don’t suppose you may chase stardom, stardom involves some individuals and it’s each, blessing and a curse. I by no means bought that fame or stardom the place individuals are mobbing you. I by no means skilled that. My unconventional childhood has affected all the pieces in my life. It has affected the individual, who I’m, I’m not afraid of being completely different. I’m not afraid of getting an unpopular opinion; I don’t really feel the necessity to match in on a regular basis…”
“…however it’s not that I’ve by no means felt that means. I’ve felt it once I was youthful. Even now, I typically really feel the necessity to straighten my curly hair to be acceptable (laughs) which is ridiculous. So one is battling various things at completely different occasions. However total, my unconventional upbringing has given me that sort of confidence. My mom lived her life on her personal phrases and he or she has very sturdy worth methods. You don’t have to just accept all the pieces that’s on the market. You can also make your personal decisions, or disagree, or not take part. I’m very privileged, I’ve inherited so many lovely, liberal values from my household. There’s a lot respect for different human beings, for his or her beliefs, for his or her methods of dwelling, it has been there from my grandparents’ technology. I’m very blessed to belong to such a progressive household. We bought a lot schooling, girls bought a lot respect.” she says.
“The business may go on sure perceptions however you don’t have to concentrate to it. No less than I don’t need to, I don’t cater to that. It’s true that there are labels, there’s a sure sort of standard cinema and that will get a sure sum of money however what can I do past some extent. I simply see my very own life, my very own work; I’m very a lot a person. I don’t actually know what is occurring in the business, or what the pattern is,” she provides.
Her directorial debut could have opened to glowing critiques however the movie bought restricted screens and that made her realise that making and selling a distinct segment movie wasn’t straightforward. Most likely that’s the reason she shouldn’t be excited about directing her subsequent.
“The sort of movies that I would need to make, I don’t know the way simply I’ll get the funding for. It’s a massive course of and plenty of laborious work, so until I’m actually dying to make one other movie I don’t suppose I’ll. I’ve determined to not take on the stress. Additionally, I’m principally an actor. I’ve acted in greater than 50 movies and I’ve directed just one characteristic and one short. I really feel like an actor. Now I get some first rate roles and I’m fairly busy with that. The perfect factor is that I get to work with so many different good actors who by no means bought their due. There are such a lot of good actors round and I’m so comfortable working with them. However the unhappy half is we’ve got a lot censorship in our nation that we will’t speak about any points any extra. We’re solely going to say, ‘The whole lot is so beautiful, all the pieces is so excellent. We will solely work in deep sarcasm,” says Sensharma.
And her face lights up on the point out of Aparna Sen’s subsequent directorial The Rapist, in which she performs one of many central characters together with Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania. “We simply wrapped the movie. For a month we have been in Delhi, we completed the schedule forward of time and I got here again and bought sick. I’m so excited and nervous about that movie. What an uncommon story! How my mom wrote and considered it I actually don’t know. It additionally has an uncommon solid. Clearly, there’s a rape in the movie however it’s simply that what all occurs afterwards that I wouldn’t have even imagined,” she says.
Speaking concerning the time spent in the pandemic, Sensharma says that throughout the second wave of covid she is selling Ajeeb Daastaans, and final yr, throughout the first section of lockdown she was selling Dolly Kitty. “I bear in mind my solutions from final yr which nonetheless maintain true (she laughs), “I at all times knew the right way to drive however one by no means actually drove a lot, so throughout the lockdown final yr I began driving much more in my neighbourhood. I learnt the right way to parallel park. I learnt to embrace my curly hair as a result of the salons have been closed. Then I adopted a pet. It has been fairly an eventful lockdown and now it’s all over once more and it’s a lot worse,” she says. “Individuals are having giant spiritual and cultural gatherings, by no means have I seen one thing so irresponsible. How will you have political rallies? It’s a peak of stupidity and irresponsibility,” she asserts signing off.