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Watch Konkona's Killer Magic On OTT

January 18, 2024 12:04 IST

After receiving high praise for her performance in Killer Soup, we can't help but wonder why Konkona Sen Sharma is not seen more often on screen.

Her films have been few and far between, with some odd choices, and only a handful of OTT projects, including directing a segment in an anthology.

Some of her best films are not available on streaming platforms, but Deepa Gahlot looks at her Hindi cinema oeuvre on OTT.


Mumbai Diaries (2021 & 2023)
Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

In two seasons of this disaster show set in Bombay General Hospital, Konkona stands out in the crowd of stars as Chitra Das, the harried social services officer, who has to deal with crises in the city that bring hordes of patients to the hospital. She also her own past as a victim of domestic abuse by her husband (Parambrata Chattopadhyay).

She gave up her medical career to move to the UK with him.

Unable to bear the torture, she escapes and return to Mumbai, hoping to start life afresh. But he lands up with a delegation, and makes her suffer all over again.

Created by Nikkhil Advani, the show gave a few actors more attention, as dozens of stories swirled around.


Lust Stories 2 (2023)
Where to watch?VNetflix

Konkona directed a segment titled The Mirror, a tragi-comic piece, in which a single career woman (Tillotama Shome) gets her sexual thrills by watching her domestic help (Amruta Subhash) have sex with her husband in her bed.

Returning home unexpectedly one day, she sees the couple in her room and is outraged.

But soon, she deliberately comes home early to watch them. The maid is aware of being watched, and that gives her a kind of power over her employer.

It was considered to be the best of the four in the second season of the anthology.


Ajeeb Dastaans (2022)
Where to watch? Netflix

In Neeraj Ghaywan's Geeli PucchI segment in the Ajeeb Dastans anthology, Konkona plays Bharti Mandal, a gay Dalit woman, who is resigned to the fact that she will not get ahead in her office, no matter how good she may be at her job.

When a fair-skinned, married, upper caste woman, Priya Sharma (Aditi Rao Hydari) joins the office, she gets the position Bharti deserved, without even trying.

But the two women befriend each other, and Bharti gets a chance to plan a long-term revenge.

In a 45-minute film, Ghaywan portrayed the caste, class, sexuality issues women face, and Konkona's performance was outstanding.


Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare(2019)
Where to watch? Netflix

Keeping up her quest to explore the secret sexual aspirations of Indian woman, Alankrita Shrivastava looks at the lives of Dolly (Konkona Sensharma), married with two sons, an indifferent husband and financial hassles.

Her cousin Kajal (Bhumi Pednekar) arrives from a small Bihar town to live with Dolly.

Unable to find a suitable job due to her lack of qualifications, Kajal gets hired at a call centre where lonely men phone in to talk to women, and she takes on the sexy role of Kitty.

After a whole lot of man trouble, betrayal and deceit, Dolly and Kitty realise that they have to live their own way, without depending on men.

Konkona, as the sexually unfulfilled and confused housewife, has an affair with a food delivery man to understand that there is nothing wrong with her and that it is her marriage that is problematic. It's a tough role, hovering between drama and farce, but she pulls it off with ease.


Death in the Gunj (2016)
Where to watch? Amazon Prime Video

Konkona made her debut as director with this film and proved to be as talented a writer-film-maker as she is an actress.

The film had an ensemble cast, comprising Vikrant Massey, Kalki Koechlin, Tillotama Shome, Om Puri, Tanuja, Jim Sarbh and Gulshan Devaiah, and she extracted fine performances from the actors, particularly Massey as Shutu, the shy and sensitive cousin amidst a family gathering in McCluskieganj.

Already troubled, he feels unwanted and alienated by the behaviour of the others towards him, and the boisterous trip ends in tragedy.

Konkona won the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director and the film received several nominations.


Talvar (2015)
Where to watch? Disney+Hotstar

Directed by Meghna Gulzar from Vishal Bhardwaj's script, the film was based on the sensational Arushi Talwar murder case in Noida in 2008, that made waves because the parents were accused of killing their teenaged daughter.

In the fictionalised version, Konkona played Nutan Tandon, the mother of Shruti, who is found dead.

The cops conclude that it was a case of honour killing and the parents (Neeraj Kabi played the father) are arrested.

One police officer (Irrfan Khan) believes that the investigation was inadequate and tries to look at other possible suspects.

Konkona gave the character depth and complexity, as the mother, who, for a while, was judged by the media and news consumers for being a cruel woman, who stood by while her child was slaughtered.


Wake up Sid (2009)
Where to watch? Netflix

In Ayan Mukerji's charming coming-of-age drama, Konkona played Aisha Banerjee, who moves to Mumbai from Kolkata to work with a magazine, and meets Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) at a party.

The entitled brat, without a care in the world, leaves home in a huff and has to fend for himself with no idea how.

Circumstances force him to share an apartment with Aisha, so he gradually acquires a sense of responsibility and a career as a photographer.

Aisha was a modern, independent woman who falls in love with the man-child, but is also confused about her feelings for Sid.

It is a pity Konkona worked so little in mainstream cinema because she could play a character like Aisha with empathy.


Luck By Chance(2009)
Where to watch? Netflix

In Zoya Akhtar's film set in the Mumbai film industry, Konkona played Sona Mishra from Kanpur, who moves to Mumbai to act in films but finds the going tough.

She meets another struggling actor, Vikram (Farhan Akhtar) and they bond.

His career dreams crash too, and they have to decide what to do next.

After doing a few offbeat films before this, Konkona fitted right in with the mainstream cast with some top stars, played the role with confidence, and gave Sona a kind of dignity that she is able to maintain in an industry that does not value it.


15 Park Avenue(2005)
Where to watch? Mubi

Directed by Aparna Sen, with a cast comprising Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi, Soumitra Chatterjee among other acting heavyweights, Konkona played a 30-something Meethi, who has schizophrenia and is cared for by her divorced older sister Anjali (Azmi) and their mother (Rehman).

The mentally disturbed Meethi lives in the world she has created in her mind, in which she is married to her ex-fiance, Joydeep (Rahul Bose), and has five children.

In this English-language film, Sen treated the subject of mental health with understanding, and Konkona played Meethi with a fine balance of a women living between reality and imagination.


Mr & Mrs Iyer (2002)
Where to watch? Mubi

In this acclaimed film, directed by her mother Aparna Sen, Konkona played Meenakshi Iyer, a conservative Tamil woman, who is travelling by bus with her infant son to join her husband.

She is seated next to Raja Chowdhury (Rahul Bose) and when the bus is attacked by Hindu rioters, she protects the Muslim Raja by telling them he is her husband.

Later, as they spend some time in an isolated bungalow, Meenakshi has to confront her own biases.

The film with its strong message of communal peace won several national and international awards and established Konkona as an actress to watch out for.