Rani and Kajol’s other cousin Sharbani Mukherjee, whose career crossed the border into obscurity after her initial debut, is back in the industry with two new movies lined up. She recently completed the Malayalam film Sufi Paranja Katha with Shushant Singh and will appear in Sangeeth Sivan’s next untitled Bollywood movie – due for release in November.
Sufi Paranja Katha is a semi-serious, semi-comic tale of identity theft as a young man, Mohandas, seeks to convince authorities that he is who he says he is. “It’s a surreal story of a battered young man who finds that someone else is living as Mohandas,” says a source, “Heavy doses of irony and satire make the film interesting and traces the absurd levels to which democratic institutions can be manipulated today.”
Sharbani is also involved in the innovative stage play Fantasia Fantastique. Essentially a puppet play including a 4m octopus, a 6m anaconda and a 3m vulture, it is best described as an animation on stage with Sharbani providing some of the voiceovers along with Jackie Shroff, Juhi Chawla and Arshad Warsi. “I have done plays like Bottoms Up, Carry on Heaven, Grandson of Bottoms Up etc, which all had live actors,” producer Bharat Dabholkar says, “But this is the only play which has only puppets. It was a huge challenge to bring this play alive and the director Ramdas managed it beyond all my expectations.”