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Iti Mrinalini

Iti Mrinalini  (Yours Mrinalini) ~ An Unfinished Letter

“ …. But I feel that by doing my own thing the way I believe, and not abiding every single rule that is laid down, I am holding myself up as an example. I don’t presume that I am but I don’t see what else I can do.” – Aparna Sen, Director Iti Mrinalini.

Starry lights, the best of clothes, undaunted attention from fans, aren’t that all an Actor’s life is all about?  Especially when she is the best of the lot, there is no looking back really. But as Mrinalini Says in the movie, “Is it the truth or must we cling on to our pretences to the very end?” According to common perception, an actor is a public figure who must lay themselves bare in front of the media and their audiences. No secrets and most certainly not a clandestine affair with your film director who happens to be a married man with two children. 

But Mrinalini was not one of your skinny female protagonists who can barely remember their lines. She was a young woman of flesh, blood and most importantly a soul. She loved reading and Yeats was her favourite poet. For someone who loved the work of Bergman, Truffaut and Godard, she decided to start her career with mainstream commercial Bengali cinema. That is Mrinalini for you. Over the years she did prove her merit as a talented actress, winning several accolades for her numerous performances but what she lost in return was herself. From a young woman bubbling with energy she quietly transformed into an older woman, mature by years but making the same mistakes. Mistakes of trusting people, of falling for the wrong people, for expecting love to be a long lasting affair rather than a momentary phase in her life. She was so different yet alike so many successful women for their never ending quest for love.


The movie begins with an older Mrinalini writing a letter rather a suicide note about how she intends on ending her life without blaming anyone for her grievances. The movie is about how she spends that night contemplating and reminiscing about days long gone by. Letters, calendars, posters, pictures all come to life as Mrinalini looks back into her past remembering the good moments and the bad. And then finally dawn arrives whilst Mrinalini remembers her friend Chintan’s words, -“Sometimes you just have to let go and take life as it comes.”  She wipes her tears and takes her German shepherd for a walk as an effort to think afresh and start anew.

And that is the story of Iti Mrinalini. Of love, youthful, domestic, growing from friendship or resulting from loneliness and seclusion. It is the story of the random incidents and unbelievable occurrences which makes life what it is. More than anything else it is realistic shedding light on the fact that Life can’t be controlled, it is like a river or the lines of a poem which flow at their own pace into creating something effortlessly beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the credit goes to Aparna Sen and her team for making a movie like this. The last voice over in the movie finally summarizes on what the movie is all about.
“Lanes and by-lanes trip my heels,
Fragile households! Whose are these?
In a profound comedy of life and death
Lies the essence of tears and mirth.”

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Amrita Paul

 I write. I read. I eat. I sleep (a lot ). Oh yes, Chick flicks make me cry and I love dogs. Some say I am a feminist, I say- " Is it necessary to define every ounce of passion arising from an individual?" I think not. Anyway that is me :)


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