Noor celebrates women journalists on celluloid; here are our five favourite characters
Celebrities have often been at odds with journalists since their professional needs often conflict. However, with time, they seem to have realised that their relationship may be bittersweet, but it is symbiotic. Neither of them can exist without the other. Thus, journalism as a profession, has found itself being represented in Hindi cinema, particularly in the last two decades.
Sonakshi Sinha also plays a journalist in Sunhil Sippy's slice-of-life drama Noor which is slated to release this Friday, on 21 April. 2017 She is the most recent example of women journalists onscreen. While she comes across as a clumsy and disoriented member of the tribe, there have been several memorable performances in the past that have formed the public perception of what a journalist looks like and how she functions.
Shabana Azmi in Main Azaad Hoon
This Tinnu Anand directorial probably marks the first time a leading lady played a journalist. Prior to that, the profession was mostly confined to character artistes. In a script written by her husband Javed Akhtar, Azmi played a journalist who narrates the darkest secrets of the nation through an anonymous letter penned down by a fictitious person named Azaad. While the film did not fare well at the box office, it certainly paved the way for leading ladies to play journalists.
Preity Zinta in Lakshya
Farhan Akhtar said on an episode of Koffee with Karan that if he ever wanted to change anything about his second directorial, it would be Preity Zinta's hairstyle. The hairstyle, coupled with the fact that she was a war journalist, gave the impression that Zinta's character was modelled on noted journalist Barkha Dutt.
Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3
Sharma plays an entertainment journalist in this Madhur Bhandarkar directorial, who deals with the superficialities and frivolity of the entertainment world based in Mumbai. She feels out of place and often conflicted about ethics during the course of her job — until she is assigned the crime beat, which changes the way she handles her profession. Sharma slipped into the shoes of the 'New Girl in the City' with so much aplomb that she was also cast in a similar role for Ayan Mukerji's Wake Up Sid.
Rani Mukerji in No One Killed Jessica
She was headstrong, stubborn and gritty as a journalist. Her role was also said to be based on Barkha Dutt but Mukerji did not let the comparison deter her performance. Her big scene in the film was when she placed herself on the bonnet of her boss' car and scream, 'Justice has been denied! You can live with it, I cannot!' Her character handed out hope but also made sure that aspiring journalists get into their heads that it is not a hunky dory job.
Anushka Sharma in PK
Sharma went the Zinta way again when she got her hair chopped off to 'look' like a journalist. However, director Rajkumar Hirani did not send her to war. Instead, she was seen carrying out an innovative campaign along with an extra terrestrial creature to debunk superstitions and expose the money minting godmen. The film went on to become one of the highest grossers of the Hindi cinema history.
Other Not-so-Noteworthy Mentions
Priyanka Chopra in Krrish - Let's say we did not mind her getting kidnapped by Kaal in Krrish 3.
Kareena Kapoor Khan in Satyagraha - Yet another cliched portrayal of a television reporter.
Deepal Shaw in A Wednesday! - Electric Baba, please give her a hug so that she can display a 'shocked' expression at a tip off about a bomb.
Nargis Fakhri in Madras Cafe - We believe she was saving all her expressions for a time capsule back in the 1980s. Just that it's 2017 and they have not been found yet.
All pictures from YouTube.