Konkona Sen Sharma debuted as a child artist more than two decades back in the 1993 film Indira. Since then she has appeared in a number of Indian films in different languages and has established herself as an actress who’s known for her strong acting skills and magnetic screen presence no matter what character she plays. If she played the role of the strong independent yet emotional girl in Wake up Sid, in 2016, she won hearts with her performance in the critically acclaimed film – Talvar – based on the 2008 Noida double murder case. While she was seen in Prakash Jha’s film Lipstick Wale Sapne earlier this year, her last outing as an actress was Akira wherein she played the role of a cop. In an interview with Nation Next, Konkona Sen Sharma speaks about the film Talvar, Irrfan Khan whom she has worked with multiple times and the fabulous director Vishal Bhardwaj.
Real life to reel life
In 2015, Konkona Sen Sharma acted in the film – Talvar – a movie based on the 2008 Noida double murder case wherein 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and 45-year-old Hemraj Banjade were murdered. While the movie was based on this case, the names of the people in real life were changed when the movie was made. ‘Aarushi Talwar’ was changed to ‘Shruti Tandon’ and so were the names of other characters. Konkona played the character of ‘Nutan Tandon’ in the movie, which was based on Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar. When asked about the change in names, Konkona said, “We altered the names slightly because we wanted to give an unbiased presentation of the case; the film was not in favour of anybody. It was just about the investigation which took place. We didn’t want to be judgmental.”
Aarushi’s aunt Vandana Talwar in the past had launched a campaign to prove the innocence of Aarushi’s parents in the case and had also provided inputs to Talvar’s writer Vishal Bhardwaj. On asking if she met Vandana for some kind of reasearch, Konkona said, “I did not meet Vandana or Aarushi’s parents. Vishal and Meghna (Meghna Gulzar, Director, Talvar) did meet number of people connected to the case for research and for the scripting. The script was enough and had all the little facts related to the case. Also a lot of information about Aarushi and her family was available online; so I didn’t have to personally do any research related to the case.”
‘Irrfan’s very down to Earth’
In Talvar, Konkana once again worked with actor Irrfan Khan with whom she has worked with previously in a couple of other films as well. On asking her about the quotient she shares with Irrfan, Konkona said, “I worked with Irrfan for the first time in – Life in a… Metro. We share a very warm and cordial relationship. It is very easy to work with him. He’s very down to earth even after knowing that he has become an international star now. There’s no arrogance and ego in him and every time he performs, he sets a benchmark with his amazing performance.”
On working with Vishal Bhardwaj
When you work with a person like Vishal Bhardwaj who’s a national award winner and wears the hats of a director, screenwriter, producer and music composer, things are bound to get a little pressurising. On asking on her experiences working with Bhardwaj, Konkona was all praises for him. She said, “Vishal’s is a wonderful film maker and his film making has certain standards. I have worked with him before Talvar as well for other movies. I enjoy a comfort level with him and I feel reassured that the film will be of certain quality. His writing and his music is a valuable contribution to the Indian Cinema.”