Archita in The Light : Swami Vivekananda movie
Leading oriya actress Archita Sahu signed a new bilingual film “The Light : Swami Vivekananda”. This movie will be directed by Tutu Sinha, based on the life of Swami Vivekananda. It is now being shot in Kolkata and will be dubbed in 18 languages.
Production unit have already completed shooting the portions in Odisha. It was blazing hot when they shot in May. They shot in Rairangpur and Simlipal. Film unit shot close to a mine in Odisha.
While most of the actors are from the theatre background, Archita was cast after the director saw her film work. Archita, he says, was just right for the role of Moinabai. “She is a trained dancer and it helped when we shot the sequence where she performed a mujra,” the director says.
In the film, Archita’s character does a mujra for Maharaja Ajit Singh Bahadur – a ruler of the princely state of Khetri and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. Ajit Singh had encouraged Swamiji to speak at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893. The Maharaja had organized a recital after the birth of his son.
“Legend has it that the queen had a son after the couple was blessed by Swamiji. Before leaving for America, Swamiji had met the king. In my film, I show that initially Swamiji didn’t quite appreciate the idea of the mujra. But he has a change of heart when Moinabai meets him. After listening to a bhajan sung by Moinabai, he is moved to changed his perspective. Kavita Krishnamurthy has rendered both the mujra and the bhajan in the film.”
Meanwhile, Archita is thrilled with her experience of shooting for this movie. “I didn’t shoot in Odisha but went to the Burdwan rajbari to shoot my sequences in the naachmahal. I am a trained Odissi dancer and always wanted to do a film that would explore my talent. When I watched “Umrao Jaan”, I would dream of an offer where I too would be able to do such a mujra. Unfortunately, Ollywood doesn’t make films where I would get that scope. I was inspired by Rekha to do this mujra in the film, which is targetting the international audience and film festivals.”
As for her co-star Deep Bhattacharya, who plays the role of Swamiji, Archita says, “When I first saw a still of Deep as Swamiji from the movie, I thought it was a photograph of the great master. He bears uncanny resemblance to Swamiji. While in school, we had read about his discourses. I am glad that I have got this opportunity to do a Hindi film on such an iconic character.”