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Exclusive! Swastika Mukherjee: The highlight of 2023 was sharing screen space with Amitabh Bachchan

The actress worked with none other than Amitabh Bachchan in 2023 in Ribhu Dasgupta’s courtroom thriller, Section 84, which also features Diana Penty and Nimrat Kaur. 

Exclusive! Swastika Mukherjee: The highlight of 2023 was sharing screen space with Amitabh Bachchan
Swastika Mukherjee

Last Updated: 12.39 PM, Jan 11, 2024


Swastika Mukherjee bade adieu to 2023 on a high note. By her admission, the year was ‘pleasantly splendid’ for her professional and personal life. The actress worked with none other than Amitabh Bachchan in 2023 in Ribhu Dasgupta’s courtroom thriller, Section 84, which also features Diana Penty and Nimrat Kaur. Swastika also went through a major surgery and yet had a busy year with a lot of travel around the country. Before the release of Bijoyar Pore, her first release in 2024, the actress looked back at 2023 and shared her plans for 2024.

“The highlight of the year was to share screen space with Mr Bachchan,” Swastika said. “Every day at some point in time this realisation knocks you that I will have a film career that has a film with Mr Amitabh Bachchan. In some conversation or the other, I remember that in 2024, I will have a film with him,” she added.

According to the actress, working with Amitabh Bachchan was an ‘incredible’ experience. “The first day I was a nervous wreck,” admitted Swastika. “I was praying to my god that I rather die than deliver my dialogue in front of him,” she joked. “He delivered his first dialogue in that Amitabh Bachchan voice and I was like ‘This is it!’ I felt sparks in my brain. I just did not believe that I could get this much nervous in front of another actor. But he is Amitabh Bachchan. The Amitabh Bachchan. We watched all his films. I started looking up to him ever since I realised there is something called cinema,” the actress exclaimed.

On a travel spree

Swastika managed to travel across the country throughout last year. “Shristi (her manager) and I were making a list of the places I visited in 2023 and the list turned out to be pretty long. And I realised it wasn’t a boring year after all. I went to Delhi twice, Bangalore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Dehradun, Landour and so on. Besides, I went to Vrindavan during Holi and Puri during Rath Yatra,” she said.

Surgery and awareness

Swastika underwent a major surgery and she believes it is important to create awareness about the medical attention a woman's body needs at a certain age. “I went through a certain change in my body. I had a hysterectomy and an oophorectomy. This means the uterus and ovaries are cut out of my body. I am at an important age in my life. This is the pre-menopausal time for me. Menopause can come at different ages for different individuals. However, since our childhood, we always hear negative things about this period. While there is no genaralised consent, one should take extra care of body whenever one is approaching that age. People are apprehensive and there is a fear of the unknown attached to it. One should take medical advice and talk about it.” she said.

Swastika also confirmed that she is doing well. “I took it easy for the last few months. I took a lot of rest and did not push myself at all. From January onwards, I plan to get back to my shape,” the actress added jovially.

On Bijoyar Pore and other films…

Meanwhile, Swastika finished Arindam Bhattacharya’s Durgapur Junction and Bijoyar Pore, which will be released on January 12. “I love my name Mrinmoyee in Bijoyar pore,” she said. Talking about the film and her character, the actress said, “I play today’s working woman. I belong to a family with a very orthodox father and your parents are your best friends. The film delves into arguments, where parents hold onto their conservative ideas and children want to break free. It also talks about homecoming, inter-religious marriage, the generation gap, and so on. It is an intense and thinking film. It is a relatable film. In Kolkata, we are surrounded by senior citizens. The film speaks of the loneliness the parents go through. Our lives are filled with so much of work hours. We don’t have much time for nonworkhours. Our parents call to chat and we don’t have time to chat,” she said.

Working with new directors…

“I worked with new directors all my life,” declared Swastika. Bijoyar Pore is Abhijit SriDas’s debut features. Talking about working with new directors, the actress said, “I check what all they have done before – short films, documentary or ad films – to get an idea of their aesthetics. The script is very important. I need to know what I am contributing to the film. This is not about the screen time but the relevance of the character is important for me. And finally, I see the team – DOP, editor, chief AD. They are the driving force and they actually run the show. It would be a risk to work with a new director with a new DOP. Also, it is important to know who will make the film on the table. They need to be good. Also, making a film is just a small part of a big war. Releasing and running the film is much tougher a job. If you are a new director it means you don’t have solid producers. I try to promote my films to the best of my ability. I also had my first days. I understand the pain of rejection,” she remembered.

Swastika also pointed out that with OTT, the viewing pattern of the audience has changed. “If you don’t make films that people would like to watch., they will, indeed, watch some Scandinavian film or web series from a completely unknown place. This is what OTT has done. Time is changing. Filmmakers and audience’s choices will have to balance. The hero-centric narrative has taken a back seat. Two of my films were selected for the Kolkata International Film Festival in Bengali Panorama where every director is a fresher – zero to one-film-old. Dostojee is one example where people ushered love to a newcomer with no star cast. It planned a global release beautifully. We as a regional industry will have to be in sync,” said the actress.

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