4 March 1979 |
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
After graduating with a degree in English literature, she completed a workshop on theatre in Mumbai because of her strong background in it. She made her acting debut in Phir Milenge (2004), a film that was based on the subject of AIDS. She gained recognition in the multiple-award winner, Anand.
Mukherjee was born and brought up in Kolkata, India. While her father is a marine engineer, her mother is a jewellery  She is the eldest of the three siblings in the family. Owing to her "love for being on the stage" since childhood, she acted in all sorts of amateur and professional stageplays while in school and college. Incidentally, she always portrayed masculine characters in these plays. Besides theater, she developed a love for reading spiritual works, painting and writing poetry. She also underwent several years of training in the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam.
After graduating with a degree in English literature from Loreto College in Kolkata, she took up a hotel management course in New Delhi, but left it midway. Thereafter, she took a course in theatre arts in Mumbai due to her good background in the field. Thereafter, she performed in many theater plays and also modeled in advertisements for brands such as Neelkamal Furniture, Parachute, Fair & Lovely and Ayush.
After noticing Mukherjee in an advertisement, actor-director Revathi offered her a role in her second directorial venture, Phir Milenge that revolved around the subject of AIDS. Though initially apprehensive about her entering into the acting profession, her parents were very supportive. In the film, she plays a radio jockey and the younger sibling to Shilpa Shetty's character. Despite the fact that hers was not a lead character, she had ample role to play in the film.
Around the time Phir Milenge happened to Mukherjee, Sekhar Kammula, a relatively new director from the Telugu film industry was in the process of casting for his next Telugu film, Anand. After coming to know about her, Kammula selected her for the role. She said that the role of an independent and modern woman, which was just like her own personality, appealed to her. When asked about her thoughts on a total change of working environment from Bollywood to Tollywood, she said that the only difference was with the language and that she was more comfortable working for Anand because the entire crew belonged to same age group. With her being a Bengali and not knowing Telugu, well-known singer and television host, Sunitha lent her voice for the film. After completion of filming, she felt that as a relative newcomer she could not have asked for more, but thought that she could have performed better. Despite her thoughts, the film won 6 prestigious 2004 Nandi Awards bestowed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Among these, Mukherjee won the Nandi Award for the Best Leading Actress. Upon receiving the award, she said "it is beyond the belief". Besides this, she won a couple of awards for being the best debutant actress of the year.
After receiving appreciation for her portrayal of a strong-willed, independent and modern woman in Anand, her next film was Meenakshi in 2005. Despite the film not finding much commercial success, Mukherjee once said that she did not regret doing the film and that it was a big learning curve. The film reviews, however, praised Mukherjee for her acting skills. In 2006, she appeared in two Telugu language films - Style and Godavari and a Tamil language film, Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Style was a dance-based film with actor-choreographers Prabhu Deva and Raghava Lawrence, Charmee Kaur and Raja, besides Mukherjee.
Godavari, which was Sekhar Kammula's next film, starred Sumanth and Mukherjee in the lead roles. This drama film, which had the Godavari River in the backdrop, dealt with a romantic love story between the lead characters. Mukherjee portrayed the role of a woman with independent thinking and tremendous inner strength, under the "backdrop of middle/upper middle class sensibilities, new aspirations, identity crisis, independence, yearnings and moreover, parental concerns." The film received predominantly positive reviews, and Mukherjee's role was particularly praised. While one review said that she was "beautiful ... both in looks and in her measured acting style," another review praised her for the "intense yet cool portrayal." She made her Tamil debut in 2006 in Gowtham Menon's Vettiyadu Velliyadu starring Kamal Hassan in which her brief role had an enduring impact. Following this, came Gamyam by Krish, a film widely praised by critics and audiences alike and subsequently remade in Tamil and Kannada, both of which featured Kamalinee in the lead role. Gamyam was the only regional film from the south to be in the running for India's entry to the Academy Awards apart from sweeping both the Nandi and Filmfare Awards.
In 2009, she played the role of Latin Christian woman, Pemenna, in Kutty Srank, directed by award-winning director, Shaji N. Karun and starring Malayalam matinee idol, Mammooty. The film swept the national awards, winning in six categories including Best Film. She garnered tremendous praise for her portrayal of a young Latin Christian girl discovering her own sexuality and passion for forbidden love. 2012 gave Kamalinee the opportunity to debut in her native language Bengali, in National Award winning director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhary's Aparajita Tumi starring Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee. The film met with critical and commercial success and she garnered positive reviews. As per one review "The character of Ushashie, played by Kamalinee, is perhaps the most interesting one in the movie. The actress is stunning in her portrayal of a lonely, frustrated woman who runs through an entire gamut of emotions – right from resentment and self-pity, to anger, vengeance and finally, an inner sense of guilt". Following Aparajita Tumi, she also appeared in K Raghavendra Rao's devotional film, Shirdi Sai with Nagarjuna. Her next project was in new-age Malayalam director, VK Prakash's Natholi Cheriya Meenalla, where she played a quirky character opposite Fahad Faasil.
|2004||Phir Milenge||Tanya Sahni||Hindi|
|Anand||Rupa||Telugu||Nandi Award for Best Actress|
|Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu||Kayalvizhi Raghavan||Tamil|
|Happy Days||Shreya Madam||Telugu||Cameo appearance|
|2008||Gamyam||Janaki||Telugu||Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|Brahmanandam Drama Company||Arpitha||Telugu|
|2009||Kadhalna Summa Illai||Janaki||Tamil|
|Gopi Gopika Godavari||Gopika||Telugu||Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|Maa Annayya Bangaram||Manju||Telugu|
|Shirdi Sai||Radhakrishna Bai||Telugu|
|2013||Natholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla||Prabha Thomas||Malayalam|
|Jagadguru Adi Shankara||Ubhaya Bharathi||Telugu|
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She’s 24, but ... Kamalinee Mukherjee.
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