Kamalinee Mukherjee is an Indian actress who predominantly works in Telugu films. She has also appeared in several Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, and Bengali movies. Kamalinee made her acting debut in 2004 with the Hindi movie Phir Milenge and won a Nandi Award for Best Actress for her debut Telugu movie Anand, released in 2005.
Kamalinee was born in Kolkata, India, and her mother is a jewelry designer while her father is a marine engineer. She is the eldest of her siblings and was inclined towards acting at an early age. As a child she participated in various amateur and professional school and college plays; majorly essaying masculine characters. Apart from acting, Kamalinee also took up poetry writing, painting, and reading spiritual works, and also trained in Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance form.
Kamalinee graduated from the Loreto College in Kolkata with a degree in English literature and later took up a hotel management course in New Delhi. However, she left the course midway, only to take up a course in theater arts in Mumbai.
After completing the course in theater arts, Kamalinee modeled in advertisements for various brands such as Parachute, Fair & Lovely, Neelkamal Furniture, and Ayush. This opened up opportunities for Kamalinee and actor-director Revathi
after spoting her in one of the advertisements offered her a role in the Hindi movie Phir Milenge (2004), a movie that centers on the subject of AIDS. Although the actress was initially apprehensive about taking up acting as a career, he took up the role in the movie. Kamalinee essayed the character of Shilpa Shetty’s younger sibling and although not the lead, she had a substantial role in the film.
It was around the time that Phir Milenge released, the then upcoming Telugu director, Sekhar Kammula
, was casting for his next movie Anand (2004). He soon offered Kamalinee a lead role in his project. The actress accepted the role and later revealed that the character of a modern, independent woman mirrored her own personality and it appealed to her. Being a Bengali and not being fluent in Telugu, her voice was dubbed by the popular TV host and singer Sunitha. Even so, Kamalinee went on to bag the Best Leading Actress Nandi Award for her performance in the movie. She next appeared in two Telugu movies - Meenakshi (2005) and Style (2006) – both these movies could not replicate her success to her debut movie. However, she was praised for her acting.
In 2006, Kamalinee made her Tamil movie debut with the movie Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, a crime-thriller directed by Gautham Menon
. The movie, which is one of the first movies in India to be made using the Super 35 – a motion picture file format, received positive reviews at the box office. In her next Telugu movie, Godavari (2006), Kamalinee co-starred with Sumanth
, essaying the character of an independent woman with tremendous inner strength and once again impressed the audience. The movie received positive reviews at the box office with one of the critics quoting: “beautiful ... both in looks and in her measured acting style.”
In the following year, she starred in several movies before appearing in the Telugu hit Gamyam (2008)
directed by Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi. The movie was highly praised by the critics and was India’s entry for the Academy Awards as well. Kamalinee was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance as well. She carried forward her success to the movie Gopi Gopika Godavari (2009)
, a Telugu film directed by Vamsy that also starred Venu Thottempudi
, Krishna Bhagavan, and Sana
. Kamalinee earned another Filmfare Award Best Actress nomination for her role.
Following her success with Gopi Gopika Godavari (2009)
, Kamalinee appeared in the movie Kutty Srank (2010)
, directed by Shaji N. Karun
, which also stars the Malayalam cinema legend, Mammooty
. The actress portrayed the role of a young Latin Christian woman, Pemenna, who discovers her own sexuality and passion for forbidden love. The role of Pemenna was unique for Kamalinee was unique in many ways as it was very different from her previous roles. The actress later said: “All my characters have a certain kind of reserve where sexuality is concerned. The character I am playing hails from a village and she's very raw. Since it's a period film, it gave me a chance to look at this other side which I have never really tried to explore before. She's got a strong sexual nature.”
After working in the film industry for almost a decade, it was only in 2012 that Kamalinee appeared in her maiden Bengali movie, Aparajita Tumi
directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
. The movie that also stars Prosenjit Chatterjee
, Chandan Roy Sanyal
, Padampriya Janakiraman
and Indraneil Sengupta was a critical and commercial success. The actress once again was praised by the critics for her brilliant performance as Ushashie
. One of the critic reviews quoted: “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".
In the subsequent years, she starred in a few average grosser before appearing in the Telugu movie Govindudu Andarivadele (2014)
alongside Ram Charan
, Srikanth, and Kajal Aggarwal
. The movie went on to become the highest grossing Telugu films of 2014.
In 2016, Kamalinee starred in the third Tamil film of her career, Iravi
, a romantic drama written and directed by Karthik Subbaraj
. The movie that features an ensemble cast of S. J. Surya, Vijay Sethupati, Anjali
, Bobby Simha
and Pooja Devariya
released to critical acclaim.