Konkona plays young mom in Aparna Sen's next 'Iti Mrinalini'

Directed by Aparna, the film containing autobiographical elements is based on the life of an ageing actress reliving her memories before she embarks on commiting suicide.

Konkona plays the younger actress Mrinalini while her mother portrays the aged actress.
"Around me there are many people from whose life I observed these things. I cannot name those people. And some parts are from my own life as well," the 65-year-old director, who was one of the top Bengali film actresses two decades ago, said.
One such scene lifted straight from her life is when a young Mrinalini is suddenly thrown out of a film.

"Very early in my career I was once replaced by another successful established actress. I was very hurt. Later on, when the same producer came to me asking for dates for another film, I expressed my feelings before him. The same happens to Konkona in this film and her dialogue is exactly what I had told that producer," she told PTI here.
Having won the National Film Award for Best Directing twice ever since she tried her hands in direction in 1981, Aparna had made her debut in films at the tender age of 15, playing a child-bride in Satyajit Ray's 'Teen Kanya' (1961).

Since then she has acted in a number of films like 'Aranyer Din Ratri', Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Kotwaal Saab', Rituparno Ghosh's 'Unishe April' and the 2009-hit 'Antaheen'.The critically-acclaimed director feels that it is the portrayal of the ups and downs in the glamour world and the affairs of a popular actress which brings 'Iti Mrinalini' ('Yours Mrinalini') close to the mainstream cinema.

"It is more mainstream than any of my earlier films. The reason is that I have taken the life of a mainstream star in the film, so some mainstream elements are bound to be there," said Aparna, best known for films like '36 Chowringhee Lane' (1981), 'Mr and Mrs Iyer' (2001) and '15 Park Avenue' (2005).

Admitting that combining the two tasks of acting and directing becomes a burden on one's shoulders, Sen said she had no choice but to act in the film to make it a casting coup of sorts.

"Using the both of us makes for a very strong casting. Else, we would have to find two people who look alike - one for the older and another one for the younger Mrinalini," she said.

The script of 'Iti Mrinalini' was written along with Ranjan Ghosh - the first time she is collaborating with a script-writer. Incidentally, her last film 'The Japanese Wife' was based on a story by author Kunal Basu.

Prior to that, she had herself penned all her screenplays and stories. So does it mean that Aparna Sen the writer is now taking a backseat?

"Just because earlier I wrote my own stories, it doesn't mean that I will never use anyone else's work. I am open to other people's stories. I am not a rigid person," she retorted.

This is also the first occasion where popular Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyay's poem has been used in a film.

"I have never gone beyond Rabindra Sangeet or folk songs in my films. But I decided to use that poem as a song because both are about Kolkata of the seventies," she said.

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