None of the characters in Alankrita Shrivastava’s ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ were allowed to go unnoticed in the viewer’s eyes.
I am currently shooting for a comedy film that hasn’t been named yet starring Naveen Kasturia, Sanjay Mishra, and Vijay Raaz… Apart from that, I was also in a film called ‘Ahaan’ that was a part of the film bazaar.
The plot of the film may be soaked by few primary characters in restricted shades but the ensemble characters seem significant and bold. The one who particularly stood out was Rehana Abidi. Rehana essayed by the lovely lady from Assam, Plabita Borthakur, stole the hearts of millions in the very controversial film. The dark comedy film written and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, and produced by Prakash Jha received a fantastic reception at various festivals across the globe and also rolled out to be a critical and commercial success at the box office.
Tipped as the leading contender in one of the most promising newcomers in the present lot, before doing ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha‘, Plabita Borthakur made her debut as Anushka Sharma’s sister in PK, a film starring Aamir Khan as the lead. Following a couple of ad commercials, the newcomer was allowed to leave a very distinctive imprint on the audience’s mind for her active demeanour in both the films. She admits,
“Acting runs in my genes because my family has always been involved in arts. My father would teach Indian classical music and my mother is a writer. Both my sisters have been involved in the film industry. I never knew anything else. Singing and dancing are all I know. There was nothing to think about. As soon I finished my studies I joined Barry John acting studio and chased my career in films.”
‘Lipstick Under My Burkha‘ is one of the most wide-ranging works of Alankrita, a prismatic depiction of sexuality and womanhood, dotted with secondary characters who complicate the lives and decisions of women. As their symbolic purpose and unique complexities become more evident, the women reveal rebellious sides to their personalities.
When we asked her to draw comparisons between her own personality and Rehana, she responds, “It was particularly challenging to play the role of Rehana because she is very different from me. I attended a lot of workshops and the preparations were difficult. Rehana’s character was introverted and I am a complete extrovert.”
Konkana Sen Sharma is a very sweet person and initially, I was quite intimidated. But when I went on board and when I met the whole team for the first time, I figured that they are really very helpful. I would even enjoy watching them on days when I wouldn’t have a shoot.
2017 had been a terrific year for Plabita, with universal acclaim for her performance in the movie.
Naturally, she is elated with the kind of response that the film generated.
“I think I have grown a lot through this film. Even during the process of filming, I learned a lot from my director, Alankrita; She’s really inspiring. She encouraged me to take initiatives and to go forward with things, and most importantly, how to deal with rejection. She made me believe in myself. I feel a lot of responsibility on me because a lot of the audiences are expecting me to do better work and that’s what I gather from whoever talks to me about it. I feel that this has made me grow a lot. I feel a constant drive to prepare for something better and reach towards something greater.”
While she bubbles with restless energy she also mentions her experience of working with one of the finest actors in the industry,
“It was amazing to experience working with one of the finest actors in the industry. I had a lot of fun shooting. Konkana Sen Sharma is a very sweet person and initially, I was quite intimidated. But when I went on board and when I met the whole team for the first time, I figured that they are really very helpful. I would even enjoy watching them on days when I wouldn’t have a shoot.”
The basic conventions of the Bollywood industry have undergone massive transformation and with it, the entire idea of making more women-centric roles.
“I think the industry has changed for the better. For most of the time, we don’t even know where we all are from. Your regionality, where we come from, nothing matters. I don’t see a difference from any other actor. I don’t really have a pre-defined mindset before picking up a role for a film. Anything that is interesting or anything that I feel for, I pick that up. Whatever I have been offered, I only picked up those that connected to me. Maybe somehow I end up liking the women-oriented ones because I feel there is so much that should be spoken of that has not been told.”
My sister was my mentor. One of them is an actor and the other was used to be an assistant director. They were older and wiser so they would advise me which projects to go for and which ones to skip.
The petite beauty acknowledges the fact that she is a complete foodie, but working out is one of her favourite hobbies. However, torturous diet confinements are not her thing. She gives an interesting insight into her personality,
“Plabita is somebody who is very lazy, moody and dreamy. I will probably just look at you and nod but I won’t be listening at all because there is something else happening in my mind. It runs in my genes I think since I belong to a family of artists. I am extremely simple, I get happy too quick and too soon. I also love travelling and I am going to visit the tenth country this time. Apart from that, I am a foodie but I am very health conscious. I am actually this person that if I have to go live in the mountains, settle there, make breakfast for my kids and send them to school, I would. That’s one side of me and the other side is an actor.”
Plabita has been lucky in many ways. Both her elder sisters have been a part of the Bollywood industry and have guided her pathways. Because the industry is cruel in its own ways, anybody who decides to enter it has to come up with their own defence mechanisms.
“My sister was my mentor. One of them is an actor and the other was used to be an assistant director. They were older and wiser so they would advise me which projects to go for and which ones to skip. They made sure that I met the right people, and every audition that I would go to, I would send her a message for an approval from her side. Both my sisters have really helped me in preparing the roles and in the auditions.”
Since the Assamese beauty digs her roots way back in the northeast, we were also quite curious if she wanted to venture out into the regional industry. She responds,
“I haven’t thought about it. As of now, I am kind of occupied here. All that matters to me is a good script and a good production. So if something is great that way then why not?”
We also asked her if she was given a choice between music and acting, what would she pick. She gives a witty comeback.
“I would act in a music video that I would be singing in.”
The talented actress is playing all her cards right. She is not just winning the hearts of her fans but is also having a smooth sail professionally as her hands are full with projects from top banners and opposite the A-listers of Bollywood. As a conclusion, she gives us a small insight into her upcoming projects and also addresses the secret behind her success.
“I am currently shooting for a comedy film that hasn’t been named yet starring Naveen Kasturia, Sanjay Mishra, and Vijay Raaz. The director is from FTII and I have a very interesting role of a village girl. Apart from that, I was also in a film called ‘Ahaan’ that was a part of the film bazaar. The film narrates a story of a boy suffering from Down’s Syndrome. The actor of the film actually does have the syndrome.
See, as long as you want to work, you will get work. I would just say that life has ups and downs. When you are low, think that everything will fall into place, everything eventually will. Be grateful for everything that you have.”
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