The Light-Swami Vivekananda is a film endorsed by Shri Narendra Modi no less. After a special preview screening of the film, Modi reportedly said “This is a highly inspirational film for the youth. I urge youngsters to go and watch the film.” He reportedly also added that “the director and the writer, in those few hours, have successfully encapsulated the life and work of the legendary monk. Deep fits into the character brilliantly.”
The film is timed to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary and has been dubbed into 18 different languages. The film is slated for release this weekend of 23rd August. It must be mentioned that if you not in one of the bigger cities of India you can forget about watching this movie in the theaters.
The movie will however be running in most centers in Gujarat; CM Narendra Modi seems to want his subjects to watch the film, since it has also been made tax free in Gujarat. This relatively small budget movie already saw a Bengali release earlier this year in February and we shall now see the Hindi version. In addition the filmmakers have also planned to have special screenings of the film at places where some Swami Vivekananda delivered some of his significant speeches.
Release date: 23rd August 2013
Starring: Deep Bhattacharya as Swami Vivekananda
Premankur Chattopadhyay as Ramakrishna
Gargi Roy Choudhury as Sarada Devi
Courtney Stephens as Sister Nivedita
Archita Sahu as court dancer Moina bai
Biswajit Chakraborty, Piyali Mitra, Sayak Chakraborty (as young Vivekananda) and others in supporting roles.
Direction/Screenplay Writers : Utpal (Tutu) Sinha/ J. Misra, Ashok Ranjan Chakraborty
Music: Nachiketa and Dr. Haricharan Verma
Story: As is obvious from the name, the movie tells the story about the life and times of Swami Vivekananda. It covers his childhood, his early skepticism about the existence of God, his interaction with Ramakrishna, the mystic and Vivekananda’s mentor as well as his travels all over India and abroad. The film traces the journey of Narendra Nath Datta and his eventful transition to the world renowned thinker as well as his experiences along the way.
The trailer of The Light – Swami Vivekananda highlights his becoming a Sanyasi and his inclusive attitude to all faiths. His desire to highlight India as a tolerant and cultured nation is projected. This depiction of one of India’s most revered thinkers was perhaps overdue and we now have the chance to watch the story of Swami Vivekananda being told on celluloid.
Most people have read about Swami Vivekananda only to a limited extent in their dry as dust text books, or at best in an Amar Chitra Katha comic. The celluloid version of the film should be interesting, since it will be touching upon some of the most important incidents in his life. I do wonder however, whether the film will remain a paean to a great thinker, touching on only the positive aspects of his life and perhaps furthering a particular agenda, or whether we shall have a more well-rounded insight into the more human frailties of Narendra Nath Datta the human being.
As for knowing what to expect based on the filmmakers Utpal (Tutu) Sinha, J. Misra, Ashok Ranjan Chakraborty most Hindi film viewers won’t know exactly what to expect, having had no previous experience of their work. The movie may well make for compelling viewing if reviews of the Bengali version are anything to go by. Whether Hindi movie audiences take to a biopic about the thinker remains to be seen.