Paoli Dam (born 4 October 1980) is an Indian film actress. Dam started her career in 2004 with Bengali television megaserial Jibon Niye Khela. In the next couple of years, she worked in few more television serials like Tithir Atithi, Sonar Harin. The mega-serial Tithir Atithi ran for 6 years in ETV Bangla.
Dam spent her childhood in Kolkata and earned a postgraduate degree in Chemistry from Rajabazar Science College. Initially she wanted to become either a researcher of Chemistry or a pilot.
Dam's debut Bengali film Teen Yaari Katha directed by Sudeshna Roy, Abhijit Guha started making in 2004, but the film did not release till 2012. Her first released film was Agnipariksha directed by Rani Kinagi. Between 2006 and 2009 she acted in five Bengali movies, but, he came into prominence with her 2009 film Kaalbela directed by Gautam Ghose. In 2011 she acted in the film Chatrak. The film created some controversies in India for an explicit sex scene.
In 2012 Dam made her Bollywood debut in Hate Story. Dam also acted in Vikram Bhatt's next production Ankur Arora Murder Case directed by Sohail Tatari.
Dam began her acting career in Bengali television serials. In 2003 she first acted in the mega-serial Jibon Niye Khela for Zee Bangla. She also acted in the ETV Bangla mega serial Tithir Atithi directed by Jishu Dasgupta. Tithir Atithi ran for six years.
She also acted in few more mega-serials Tarpor Chand Uthlo, Sonar Harin and Jaya. About her career in Bengali television Dam told that she learned a lot from Bengali television and it groomed her.
Dam's debut Bengali film Teen Yaari Katha directed by Sudeshna Roy, Abhijit Guha was started making in 2004, but it took a long time to release and finally released in 2012. Her first released film was Agnipariksha (2006). The film was directed by Rabi Kinagi and produced by Debendra Kuchar. Dam played a side role in this film. Next she acted in the film Tulkalam (2007), directed by Haranath Chakraborty and produced by Pijush Saha. Mithun Chakraborty and Rachana Banerjee played the lead male and female characters respectively in the film. Dam's third released Bengali film was I Love You. In this film she made a guest appearance and played a small role of the heroine's friend. In 2008, she acted in the Bengali film Hochheta Ki, a comedy of errors directed by Basu Chatterjee. In this film Dam played a Bengali housewife's role.
In the year 2009, Dam's seven Bengali films released. But, she came into the focus after the success of Kaalbela directed by Gautam Ghose.
Based on a Bengali novel written by Samaresh Majumdar, the film was set against the background of the Naxalite movement of 1980s. Dam played the role of Madhabilata, girlfriend of a young Naxalite leader. Dam's acting in this film as Madhabilata was highly appreciated. The Times of India commented in their review— "Pauli, who plays Madhabilata with such integrity that the pain in her eyes and the romance in her voice charms viewers to believe that she has it in her to lend her face to everything that Madhabilita has epitomised! ". In an interview she told this film was a "turning point" in her career. She also told— "Everybody needs a platform — Kalbela gave me the platform. I had to prove myself".
The other six films released in this year were Hochchheta ki directed by Basu Chatterjee, Jamai Raja directed by Swapan Saha, Box No. 1313, Mallick Bari, Shob Charitro Kalponik directed by Rituparno Ghosh. and Tinmurti.
In 2010, Dam's eleven Benngali films released. In this year she acted in Tara directed by Bratya Basu, Takhan Teish directed by Atanu Ghosh, Moner Manush directed by Gautam Ghose, Kagojer Bou directed by Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay, Banshiwala directed by Anjan Das etc.
Moner Manush was the Dam's second movie with Gautam Ghose. In this film Dam the played the character of "Komli", a female baul. The Times India, in their review, found Paoli's acting "sincere efforts in portraying the role of Kamli". Paoli Dam later told in an interview that she learned a lot while working in these two films with Gautam Ghose.
In 2011 Paoli Dam acted in the film Chatrak. The film was directed by Sri Lankan film director Vimukthi Jayasundara. In this film she played the character "Paoli", a Bengali girl. The film led to controversy in India when an explicit sex scene featuring her and actor Anubrata Basu was leaked on the Internet.
In 2012, Dam's first Hindi film Hate Story released and the Bengali film industry saw three of her releases this year. Those three films were Bedroom directed by Mainak Bhaumik, Elar Char Adhyay directed by Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay and finally her first film Teen Yaari Katha directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha.
The storyline of the film Bedroom revolved around the lives of Kolkata's urban couples. In this film Dam played the character "Priyanka", a bored and irritable housewife. The film Elar Char Adhyay was based on Rabindranath Tagore's literary work Char Adhyay and was set in India under British Raj in 1940s. Paoli Dam played the character "Ela", a teacher of a group fighting for Indian independence. In this film Paoli's acting was highly appreciated. The Indian Express in their movie review found Dam's acting as Ela "Wonderful" and The Times of India wrote in their review— "Those who thought Paoli's "Hate Story" outing was all about being bold will be pleasantly surprised by her sheer maturity in reinterpreting boldness in the context of an era long left behind." In Teen Yaari Katha Dam played a small role.