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Tillotama Shome and Saswata Chatterjee: The two people we loved in both The Night Manager and Tooth Pari

The Night Manager is streaming on Disney Hotstar and Tooth Pari on Netflix

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 15.05.23, 01:52 PM
Saswata Chatterjee and Tillotama Shome

Saswata Chatterjee and Tillotama Shome Instagram

The common thread between two recent Indian web shows The Night Manager and Tooth Pari is the presence of Tillotama Shome and Saswata Chatterjee in the cast. And in both the shows, the two talented actors rise above the rest and leave a mark. Here’s what we loved about Tillotama Shome and Saswata Chatterjee’s crucial roles in Disney Hotstar’s The Night Manager and Netflix’s Tooth Pari.

Tillotama Shome as Lipika Saikia Rao and Meera

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The actress who made us pause and take note of her in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding in 2001 is blazing a trail on OTT. After taking on complex characters in Sir, Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost and Delhi Crime Season 2, Tillotama became a RAW agent in the Hindi adaptation of the British TV series The Night Manager. She made her Lipika Saikia Rao distinctly different from the role played by Olivia Colman in the original — Lipika is sharp and spunky like Colman’s Angela Burr but also witty with a fine sense of sarcasm. Through multiple setbacks in her mission, Lipika fights bureaucracy and chauvinism at the workplace and even bends a rule or two to bring the truth to light. The subdued chemistry with her spouse Naren (Varun Shashi Rao), who provides her space and support, adds another dimension to the character.

In the horror comedy thriller Tooth Pari, Tillotama plays Meera, a vampire who was a courtesan in her human lifetime, with aplomb. As an affectionate motherly figure to Rumi (a rebellious vampire played by Tanya Maniktala), Meera not only teaches her kathak and the ways of life but also strives to protect her. Despite hailing from an ancient era, Meera is free-spirited and progressive. She wants Rumi to explore intimacy with her dentist boyfriend Doc Roy (Shantanu Maheshwari) to check overall compatibility before moving ahead in the relationship. Meera also highlights that people and their prejudices hardly change with time. Her question ‘Kaun se zamaane mein laut aaye hain hum?’ drives home the point.

Saswata Chatterjee as Brijpal and David

A very popular face on Bengali screens, Saswata Chatterjee has some selective but memorable performances in Hindi films. After bursting on to the national scene as Bob Biswas in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani in 2012, Saswata gave us the delightful TutiFuti in Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos, apart from Dil Bechara, Dobaaraa and Dhakaad.

In Disney Hotstar’s The Night Manager, directed by Priyanka Ghosh and Sandeep Modi, Saswata plays Tom Hollander’s role from the original. Saswata’s Brijpal or BJ, the openly gay right-hand man of arms dealer Shelly Rungta, is cunning, perceptive, loud and insecure at the same time. Though Brijpal doesn’t come across as menacing on the face, he carries a ruthless streak and a gift for smelling from a distance when something’s off.

In Pratim Dasgupta’s thriller series Tooth Pari, Saswata plays David, a vampire who was a consultant and confidante to many historical and political figures in the past. As someone who has lived for centuries, David has several stories up his sleeve. He becomes a father figure to Rumi after bringing her to the other world. David considers Rumi his responsibility and takes care of her like his own. As an experienced member of the other world, he has more insight than most residents of ‘Niche’ and brings a certain amount of warmth to the table, when he suddenly breaks into a song or shares a joke. David’s natural goodness makes us root for him.

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