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Nandana Sen: From controversy to kudos

Thursday, January 22, 2015 • Hindi Comments

Nandana Sen, known for choosing unconventional roles, speaking her mind, and vanishing for periods, was recently spotted in Kolkata receiving the prestigious Kalakar Award for Best Actress for Ketan Mehta's 'Rang Rasiya'.

This honour comes as no surprise, as the actress's path-breaking performance as Ravi Varma's angelic muse Sugandha has been widely applauded not only by audiences but also major critics, who have variously hailed it as "pitch-perfect," "superb," "divine, elegant, and enticing," "innocent and vulnerable," "fearless, uninhibited," "radiant in every frame", and "as refined as it is bold."

However, this character's boldness (and nudity, passed by the Indian censor board without cuts for the first time in history) have in the past brought Nandana her fair share of controversies. The guileless actress didn't dodge that issue in her acceptance speech for the award, stating that she was grateful that audiences had appreciated Sugandha's vulnerability and humanity "beyond her flesh and her skin."

Many were surprised when she thanked, along with Ketan Mehta, her ex-boyfriend Madhu Mantena for his faith in Rang Rasiya, and his support. In an industry governed by short memories, it is refreshing to meet an actor who doesn't deny her history.

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