Shabana Azmi, Dimple Kapadia & more… who played journalists in movies

Sonakshi Sinha played the role of a journalist in her latest flick ‘Noor’ which narrated the adventures and misadventures in her personal and professional life. There was a hype around the movie before its release, but unfortunately, that failed to translate at the box-office upon its release. In fact, ‘Noor’ had the lowest box-office opening at Rs 1.54 crore among all major Bollywood films this year.

Sonakshi is not the actress to play a media-person on screen. Many actors have in the past played the role of reporters in the past, even when the profession was not so glamorised and when electronic media was almost non-existent.

Shabana Azmi was one of the earliest actresses who played a newspaper reporter in the 1989 film ‘Main Azad Hoon’ starring Amitabh Bachchan. An adaption of American film ‘Meet John Doe’, it had Shabana’s character Subhashni penning articles attributed to a fictitious character, criticising the system and highlighting the ills of the society. When the need arises to reveal the fictitious man, she hires a jobless and nameless man who takes the identity of the fictitious character.

Dimple Kapadia played a journalist, Meghna Dixit, in 1994 film ‘Krantiveer’ that starred Nana Patekar in the lead. Her character highlights Nana Patekar’s Pratap as a champion of justice, who fights against injustice and kills corrupt ministers and other officials when the system failed. Dimple was applauded for her fiery performance which earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.

In the 1987 science-fiction ‘Mr India’, Sridevi played the role of a crime journalist, but her profession didn’t have much to do in the film’s story line. The movie was about a man who gets the power to become invisible with the help of a device, and fights a megalomaniac to save the country. Sridevi’s character Seema, who falls in love with the invisible man, eventually helps him in the mission.

In 1983 satirical-comedy ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’, Naseeruddin Shah and late Ravi Baswani played press photographers, who were hired to expose the scandalous lives of rich and unscrupulous people. They eventually discover that their editor is also hands-in-glove with the corrupt men. The movie over the years has received cult status.

When the electronic media was in boom and journalism was a becoming a sought-after profession, Preity Zinta played a war journalist in 2004 film ‘Lakshya’, which was set in the backdrop of the Kargil War. Her character Romila Dutta was reportedly inspired by reknowned journalist Barkha Dutt, and Preity was applauded for her portrayal and performance. The film has become a cult despite receiving lukewarm response at the box-office.

Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla played reporters for rival channels in 2000 film ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’ that showcased the competition amongst media organisations for viewership. In the film, the rival reporters eventually join hands for a common cause where only truth and justice mattered and not the TRP of channels. The reporters help to get justice for a man who killed a politician in order to avenge the rape and death of his daughter after police doesn’t help him.

Rani Mukherji played the role of a feisty, staunch journalist Meera Gaity in ‘No One Killed Jessica’. Her realistic portrayal of a journalist was convincing and earned her the appreciation of critics and audience equally. She also won many awards for the role, including Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. The 2011 film was based on the true incident of Jessica Lal murder case.

Konkana Sen Sharma played a journalist’s role in two films – ‘Page 3’ in 2005 and 2009 film ‘Wake Up Sid’. In the National Award-winning ‘Page 3’, Konkona’s official Bollywood debut, she played a reporter who covered celebrity news and rubs shoulders with who’s who of the society. She gave a powerful performance. In ‘Wake Up Sid’, she played a writer for a magazine who becomes the reason for transforming a lazy and irresponsible adult into a responsible and matured man.