CHURNI GANGULY: Bengali Film Actress

Churni Ganguly is one of the most outstanding actresses who made her small screen debut when Bengali satellite channels appeared on the small screen. But no one noticed her talent and her glamour for the big screen. It was left to her husband, filmmaker-actor Kaushik Ganguly who utilized her talent to the best advantage for the big and small screen. She talks about her work in Laptop directed by Kaushik. Laptop has been acquired by Databazaar Media to fulfill the responsibility it has taken on to entertain the NRI Bengalis of North America and Canada. Churni won the Bengal Film Journalist Association’s Best Actress Award for her portrayal in Waarish directed by Kaushik Ganguly.


“I have never been crazy about stardom. I love to act and therefore, have not chased roles and tried to remain content with some very good and significant work with Kaushik in television and for films. I met Kaushik through theatre and soon observed how talented he was. In all his films, I have done varied roles. Now that I have graduated to character roles, the possibilities have expanded,” said the very educated, warm and well-read Churni who had to give up offers from Bollywood because of personal constraints and time clashes.

Abar Byomkesh Ushasie Chakraborty
Abar Byomkesh Ushasie Chakraborty

 “I personally think that Laptop is a very quiet, understated and intense film. This has made the background music an independent and unique point of expression in the film. It is narrated and unfolded in a very low key,” says Churni.

“I play Durba. Durba is married to a tea planter in North Bengal and they have an eight-year-old son. The boy, Pratyay is my younger sister’s son in real life. We had a good comfort zone. Saswata Chatterjee plays my husband. The character I portray has a slight nervous streak and the reason is spelt out in the film. I am decked up like a planter’s wife should and though I try to appear confident and happy, inside, I am neither. I feel alone in that small world of luxury and affluence,” she explains.

Asked about the role of the laptop in her cloistered world in the film Churni says, “The laptop happens independently in each different story in the film. Relationships do not have a definite closure in this film. Saswata plays my husband, Rahul Bose plays another very unusual character and Pratyay plays my son. The relationships are not clearly etched out but explained in suggestion and through the scenes. The laptop disturbs the seemingly peaceful harmony in her life and in the life of her family. I do not think to reveal more will be fair to those who have yet to watch the film.”

What place would she give to Laptop among the films directed by Kaushik Ganguly? “I think this is a very different film from his earlier films including his latest Rang Milanti. In his other films, he has articulated his narratives very clearly. In Laptop, the story is shown through incidents, hints, suggestions, etc and not told, if you know what I mean. Laptop is a film I can sit at home and watch alone comfortably. His manner of holding the story within the script is different and leaves some answers for the audience to draw. It is a very mature film.”

What about assignments in Mumbai? “Factors other than choice have determined my visibility on screen. When I won the Onida Pinnacle Award for Best Actress at the national level, I was flooded with offers from Mumbai I had to let go, the only constraint being time, and not choice. Anupam Kher’s company that made my career plans wanted me to meet Priyadarshan. I was away for a month-long shoot in Rajasthan. So I lost due to bad timing. When I became a mother, I had to forego Mumbai offers,” she sums up cheerfully.

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