The recently released film, Bollywood Diaries , is about three people from diverse backgrounds pursuing a common dream—that of making it big in Bollywood. Of these three, Raima Sen plays Imli, a sex worker from Sonagachi, Kolkata, who hopes to be rescued from the notorious red light area, so she too can go to Mumbai. Talking about her role, Raima says she has met several people like Imli, from back when she used to teach little children in Sonagachi, while she was in school herself.
These experiences, too, have helped in moulding this character in the film. She says, “I’m used to playing very intense roles, so it was a bit of a challenge to be playing someone as bubbly and talkative as Imli. Playing a sex worker is always exciting, because you’ve seen films with incredible performances, such as Chameli and Pretty Woman , which are tough to match. ”
She adds, “Of course, you get an understanding of the character with research, experience and discussions, but you still need to believe in the character to make the character believable to the audience.”
It is Imli’s pure, innocent love of Bollywood that helped her create a connection with the character, says Raima. “She is so in love with the world of movies that is she is totally consumed by it to the point where she’s unaware of her own reality. That aspect makes her so attractive.”
So, has she met aspirants who’re just as passionate like her character in the film? “My grandmother Suchitra Sen was very passionate about the movies and very aspirational about following this dream. Even Rajinikanth’s journey from a bus conductor to India’s biggest superstar continues to fascinate me.”