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5 memorable roles of Mamata Shankar from recent Bengali films that had us in awe of her acting skills

The dancer-actress turns 68 on January 7

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 07.01.23, 04:25 PM
Mamata Shankar as Mrs Sarkar in Shah Jahan Regency

Mamata Shankar as Mrs Sarkar in Shah Jahan Regency SVF

Some of Mamata Shankar’s best performances came under the direction of stalwart directors like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. In her latest outing — Avijit Sen’s Projapoti — the dancer-actress shares screen space with Mithun Chakraborty, rekindling their chemistry 46 years after their debut film Mrigayaa (1976). We revisit five characters played by Mamata Shankar in the last seven years that had us in awe of her skills.

Maa in Maajher Jhol

Mamata Shankar plays an ailing mother in Pratim D. Gupta’s 2017 slice-of-life film Maajher Jhol. Her illness forces her son Dev D (Ritwick Chakraborty), a professional chef, to return to Kolkata from Paris. Dev quit his job in a multinational company to pursue his passion for cooking, much to the consternation of his family. When Dev returns home, his mother asks him to make the ‘perfect’ fish curry for her. Mamata Shankar adds a delightful energy to her character who is shown bedridden most of the time.


Watch it on: SonyLIV

Charulata in Ahare Mon

Pratim D Gupta’s anthology of timeless love stories, Ahare Mon, brings to life a myriad of characters. Mamata Shankar plays Charulata, an old lady who has moved into a retirement home after losing her husband. She becomes pals with another resident, Barun (Anjan Dutt), and tells him about letters she has been receiving from a stranger she had befriended on a trip to Thailand 25 years ago. This piques Barun’s interest and they set out on a journey to find the man. Mamata Shankar’s crackling chemistry with Anjan Dutt makes this film worth a watch.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

Mrs Sarkar in Shah Jahan Regency

Mrs Sarkar (Mamata Shankar) is trapped in a loveless marriage. She frequents Shah Jahan Regency, a hotel at the heart of Kolkata, to seek companionship from a celluloid star. She also runs an NGO in her spare time but is an elitist at heart. Her exchange with Kamalini (Swastika Mukherjee), a high-profile escort who falls in love with her son Arnab (Anirban Bhattacharya), brings out this hypocrisy in her character. Mamata Shankar brings this complex character to life in Srijit Mukherji’s 2018 chamber drama.

Watch it on: Hoichoi

Aparajita Ray in Antardhaan

Directed by Arindam Bhattacharya, Antardhaan is an edge-of-the-seat thriller about a missing girl. Mamata Shankar plays Aparajita Ray, the girl’s neighbour and the last person to see her. She is also a mystic who specialises in tantra. When the police fail to locate their daughter, the girl’s father (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) and mother (Tnusree Chakraborty) seek Aparajita’s help. Mamata Shankar delivers a performance that keeps the suspense alive till the end credits roll on.

Watch it on: ZEE5

Swati Dutta in Antarleen

Antarleen (2016), a pacy thriller directed by Arindam Bhattacharya, is a whodunnit with a twist. A vacation in the hills turns into a murder investigation for a police officer (Kharaj Mukherjee) after a tourist is found dead in a hotel. Mamata Shankar’s Swati Dutta is visiting Kasauli with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Though Swati looks like an innocent old lady and a doting grandmother, she has her own secrets.

Watch it on: Hoichoi

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