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regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

5 feisty women journalists from Bengali films who won our hearts

Sharmila Tagore, Konkona Sen Sharma, Radhika Apte, Raima Sen and Nandita Das had their A-game on as journalists

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 21.02.23, 02:55 PM
(L-R) Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore in Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (1966)

(L-R) Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore in Satyajit Ray’s Nayak (1966) ZEE5

At the heart of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s suspense thriller Lost, set in Kolkata and streaming on ZEE5, is a firebrand journalist who puts her life on the line to find the truth. Vidhi Sahani – played to perfection by Yami Gautam — neither bows down to political pressure nor does she stop searching. We revisit five feisty journalist characters, like Vidhi Sahani, from Bengali films who left a mark with their courage and integrity.

Sharmila Tagore as Aditi Sengupta in Nayak (1966)

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In Satyajit Ray’s Nayak, Sharmila Tagore is Aditi Sengupta — the editor of a struggling magazine for women – who runs into the matinee idol, Arindam Mukherjee (Uttam Kumar), on a train. For Aditi, spinning her interaction with the reigning superstar into an interview would turn her publication around, but it goes against her journalistic ethic. She makes no attempts to hide what she thinks of Arindam’s lauded films, and her honesty helps Arindam to open up and share his most intimate secrets. The train ride transcends into a journey of self-introspection for both Aditi and Arindam.

Nandita Das as Mallika Sen in Shubho Mahurat (2003)

Rituparno Ghosh’s Shubho Mahurat, an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side, features Nandita Das as Mallika Sen, a film journalist. Mallika is new in Kolkata and is adapting to the ways of the city and the film industry. A renowned actress (Kalyani Mondal) dies while giving an interview to Mallika, and she gets embroiled in the police investigation. She is also tasked with filing a cover story on the actress. It is Mallika’s aunt Ranga Pishima (Rakhee), who starts piecing together the puzzle of the actress’s death based on the information that Mallika shares with her.

Raima Sen as Amrita Mukherjee in Baishe Srabon (2011)

Raima Sen plays a TV journalist, Amrita Mukherjee, in Srijit Mukherji’s crime thriller Baishe Srabon who decides to work on a story on infamous serial killers after a series of gruesome murders rocks Kolkata. Amrita teams up with her colleague Surjo (Abir Chatterjee) and pursues an eccentric poet, Nibaran Bhattacharya (Goutam Ghose). Amrita’s interactions with Nibaran steer the film’s story as they lead her boyfriend Abhijeet Pakrashi (Parambrata Chattopadhyay), one of the investigating officers in the murder case, to conclude that Nibaran is the killer.

Radhika Apte as Brinda Roy Menon in Antaheen (2009)

Brinda Roy Menon, played by Radhika Apte, is a spunky TV journalist in Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Antaheen. Brinda, who is working on a big scoop involving an unscrupulous real estate entrepreneur, also has a poetic side to her. She discusses love, life and relationships with a stranger on a virtual chat room every night. The stranger happens to be IPS officer Abhik Chowdhury (Rahul Bose), who is helping Brinda with leads for her story, and both are unaware of each other’s identity. When Brinda notices similarities between Abhik and her virtual friend, she suggests that they meet in person. But before that meeting could take place, she rushes off to interview a major lead for her story on the real estate scam and is killed under mysterious circumstances on the way.

Konkona Sensharma as Raka Biswas in Shunyo Awnko (2012)

In Goutam Ghose’s Shunyo Awnko, which revolves around the stories of different individuals connected by fate, Konkona Sensharma plays an upright journalist, Raka Biswas, who is working on a story on a mining project in a tribal community. Raka is troubled by the problems of the residents of the village. Here she meets Agni Bose (Priyanshu Chatterjee), a corporate guy who visits the village to expedite the mining project, and Raka is torn between her professional values and her feelings for Agni.

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