By Himanshu Guru: The premier show of Sabyasachi Mohapatra’s upcoming Sambalpuri movie, ‘Sala Budha’, (The Stupid Old Man) was held on 30th Nov 12 in Town Hall Balangir. It was also the occasion for the Mahapatra Movie Magic unit to mark the 25 years silver jubilee celebration of ‘Bhukha’, Mahapatra’s earlier Sambalpuri movie (1989), which happens to be the first ever movie to be made in Sambalpuri/Koshli dialect. Many popular and known personalities from Odia and Sambalpuri Film Industry were present in the show along with the Guests of the meeting.
The dignitaries present on the stage were – Renowned Politician and member of Law Commission Sri Narasingha Mishra, Vidya Vachaspati Padmashree Shrinivas Udgata, veteran Bollywood and Ollywood actor-Director Sadhu Meher, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Balangir Shri B. Kindo, director of ‘Sala Budha’ and ‘Bhukha’ Sri Sabyasachi Mohapatra and members of ‘Bhumika’, a renowned Theatre group from Balangir.
All cast and crew of ‘Sala Budha’ and ‘Bhukha’ were honored on the stage. On the eve of this function veteran actor Sadhu Meher narrated a real story (that the ‘Kumar Pictures’ unit had witnessed during shooting of ‘Bhukha’) to convey a message that how the producer had provided his best despite the scarcity of money.
The story – During shooting of ‘Bhukha’ the unit came across a deer and Sadhu Meher advised to send five people from the unit to chase it. In the evening, the five unit members came with their shares of deer meat and the whole unit consumed it. He said, “It is a tribal rule in the Harishankar area (where the shooting was going on) that anyone, outsider or insider, if helps haunting a prey, he is entitled to get his share’.
‘Sala Budha’ is the story of a generous old man and set in the back drop of a village in the western Odisha during the reign of Maharaja Biramitradaya Singhdeo, who ruled Sonepur in the 20th century in the pre-independence era. The old man is the Village head (Gauntia) who tries to help the villagers despite all odds is the summary.
Atal Bihari Panda, who has played the pivotal character of the old man, has done a great job. Tapaswini Guru, playing the character of the old man’s wife has also done her best. Among the others, performance of Netranand Barik, Prithviraj Nayak in the character of the king, Purusottam Mishra and Shobha Sinha are to be remembered. Other characters have been played by known Odia film actor Ratan Meher, Bijaya Tripathy, Gadadhar Barik, Pradumya Sahu, Pabitra, Dilip and others. While the music, scored by Ramesh Mahananda bears the real charm of Odia folklore, the art work and the typical folksy properties used in the film claims huge appreciation. The film is based on a novel written by Shri Kapilesh Prasad Mohapatra and (unofficially) the story is claimed to be his own story, borne during his lifetime.
In nutshell, Sabyasachi Mohapatra has perfectly presented plight of the senior people through some innocent characters in ‘Sala Budha’ and the film is a complete package to claim awards in a number of categories, at any international Film Festivals.