Bhubaneswar: The face appears to be like acquainted, he advised himself because the 82-year-old with an effervescent persona took the stage throughout a literary meet in Odisha’s Sonepur in 2011 and had the viewers in splits.
He may lastly recollect that the previous man had the same impression on him 30 years in the past. “I had watched a play ‘Phata Mandal’ in Sambalpur by which he had performed the lead function. I couldn’t however go ga-ga over his efficiency. He was very spectacular,” stated nationwide award-winning filmmaker from Odisha Sabyasachi Mohapatra.
Right here we’re speaking about his protagonist of ‘Sala Budha’ (Sala Budha, Aadim Bichar and Sala Budhar Badla) trilogy Atal Bihari Panda. He performed the titular function in these Sambalpuri language movies directed by him.
Mohapatra was then the secretary of Natya Kala Parishad. “I requested him whether or not he continued performing and really enthusiastically he stated, ‘Powder Makhba Kahi Chhadba’ (why ought to one cease placing on the greasepaint?” he stated.
Panda gave him two books – a novel ‘Devi’ and his biography ‘Baandhu Ubacha’. “It gave me an perception into his command over the language. I approached him to put in writing dialogues for my film,” he advised Odisha Bytes.
Mohapatra was then staying in Mumbai and had come right down to Sonepur with the concept of ‘Sala Budha’ in his thoughts. “I took him to a guesthouse in Sonepur. He checked out me and stated that his fingers have been shaking. However inside no time, he was on the job,” he recalled.
The script with dialogues was prepared and so they had even recorded the songs. “I’d change the subject each time he enquired in regards to the actor, who would play the lead function within the movie. Three days earlier than the shoot, I advised him that I would really like him to play the titular function,” he stated.
It caught him off guard. “After preliminary reluctance, he gave in to my request. Movie taking pictures is totally totally different from theatre and he was acutely aware of the cameras at first. However that lasted only for a day. Having been concerned within the scripting, he understood the character effectively,” stated the filmmaker.
In the course of the shoot, Panda confirmed no hesitation in strolling on burning sand on a sizzling afternoon and taking a shower on a shivering chilly morning. “Such was his dedication to the craft. He was emotionally concerned within the strategy of filmmaking,” he stated.
Mohapatra stated individuals had initially criticised him for taking an 83-year-old because the lead character in his film with even some commenting that he had misplaced his thoughts. “The state award for the most effective actor which he received quickly after the movie was launched in 2012 silenced all of the critics,” he stated.
This affiliation continued within the sequel to the film – ‘Aadim Bichar’ (2014) and ‘Sala Budhar Badla’ (2020). “He gained the most effective actor and finest dialogue author for ‘Aadim Bichar’ and I used to be hopeful of a hattrick for him with ‘Sala Budhar Badla’ however the state awards have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
Elaborating on the connection he shared with him, Mohapatra stated he understood what he needed from him as an actor even earlier than he spoke. “We shared a fantastic rapport. We all the time engaged in discussions and one such at Rameshwar ghat went up until 3 pm when the priest of the temple reminded us that it was not secure to remain right here so late into the evening with a graveyard close by,” he stated.
Speaking about Panda’s biography, the filmmaker stated not many find out about his stint with Annapurna Theatre in Cuttack. Whereas working within the irrigation division in Cuttack, Panda had staged a play on the Annapurna Theatre. “After watching the play, the then Chief Minister Harekrushna Mahatab despatched for him and requested him to put in writing opera that will ship out a message to the lots. He had then written six to seven performs and two amongst them have been ‘Bagha Matichi’ and ‘Samaja Byadhigrastha’,” he stated.
The performs went houseful for months collectively. He was even conferred with the Odisha Jatra Samrat title later.
Whereas within the first version of the biography, he wrote about his theatre and performs, the second, which included his expertise in movies, was launched a month in the past.
For Mohapatra, his loss of life is an finish of an period and a private loss. “Such actors should not born day by day. He was an entire artist,” he stated.
The ‘Sala Budha’ trilogy may by no means have been so heartwarming had it not been him!