Sush: Not on the trodden path
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Sush: Not on the trodden path

Sushmita defies all norms that seem to overpower actors. Chingaari Review

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 17:01 IST

Some actors have the ability to carry a film solely on the strength of their acting talent. And then there are some who help cash registers ring on the merits of their great looks, svelte figures and sex appeal.

As a serious movie watcher, no points for guessing which one of the above, walks away with more votes.

It thus came as a pleasant surprise to see a director of the stature of Kallpana Lajmi (who has Ek Pal, Rudaali to her credit) join hands with one of the naturally gifted but unsung actors of Bollywood,Sushmita Sen,in her latest film Chingaari.

While Lajmi needs no introduction, having been a part of a family of great masters like Guru Dutt and Shyam Benegal, Sen's fame would have remained confined to the ramp walks as a model, had the Miss Universe title and the subsequent brush with Bollywood not earned her nationwide acclaim all over again as a glam sexy doll who could deliver too. She did prove a point in films like Samay,Vaastu Shastra and Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai and Farah Khan's take on Nazir Husain's blockbusters – the mindless but entertaining Main Hoon Na or her debut film Dastak, where her prowess as an actor worth watching came into focus. In all these films, Sendeviated from the stereotyped Hindi film heroine's conventional depiction and made her mark.

In Chingaari she essays the role of a prostitute in a village. And does she deliver!

Sushmita is an unconventional star actor who defies all norms that seem to overpower actors in Bollywood.

Our crown for the

Star of the Week

goes to the unconventional star actor who defies all norms that seem to overpower actors in Mumbai and for her sincerity in portraying a character that is straight out of everyday life.

Her fiery monologue after being repeatedly raped by the priest (played by Mithun Chakraborty ) captures the emotive turmoil that women in some parts of our society still put up with, with no respite coming their way.

Her fierce defiance against the priest's tyrannical ways and her angst against her daughter's stigma and the shattering of her dream of seeing her settled in life with self respect, makes her take on the wrath of the village priest- not just verbally but physically too. A lengthy piece of dialogue that unleashes her fury against the system has Sen fuming and ranting in a cheeky and riveting disobedience.If only the script had not let her down, she would have come up with an even more scintillating performance.

Kallpana Lajmi can take credit for her dare-me-not script but if she tries to hog all the bouquets coming their way it would be unfair. Most of it go to Sen who has completely and entirely found her own challenge in Basanti, rising and interpreting the role as only she can. Also in the brutally competitive world of cinema, she follows her heart and is not in the rat race just for the heck of it. Kudos to her for making the right moves. And the right choices.

What goes in her favour is her quiet but dignified reassurance to herself and her fans of her being there – as a reliable and responsible actor. Remember Meghna Gulzar's directorial debut


? If you do, then may be for Sen's sake, check out her self-confidence and passion that is a rare commodity today's wonder actors in Bollywood. She may be the lone ranger, but as long as actors like her exist, mainstream Bollywood cinema's run will be as glorious as ever!

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 16:54 IST