The Light: Swami Vivekananda (2013) is a bilingual (Bengali and Hindi) film directed by Utpal (Tutu) Sinha and produced by Tri Colour productions private limited. The film is based on the life and teaching of Swami Vivekananda. The film was a tribute to Vivekananda on the 150th anniversary of his birth. The film was dubbed in 18 languages.
Deep Bhattacharya played the role of Swami Vivekananda whom director Tutu Sinha first saw in a Bengali drama. Premankur Chattopadhyay and Gargi Roy Chowdhury played the characters of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sarada Devi respectively.
The eventful life of Swami Vivekananda has been captured in this film. The film shows the transition from young Narendra Nath Datta to world preacher Swami Vivekananda. Different events from his life starting from childhood days to meeting with the mystic saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa at Dakshineswar, Vivekananda's travel to Northern India, travel to the West (America, Europe), meeting with Sister Nivedita, and his works in India have been captured, thereby building his journey from being Narendranath to Vivekananda in bits and pieces.Deep Bhattacharya as Swami VivekanandaSayak Chakraborty as Swami Vivekananda's child hood ( biley )Gargi Roy Choudhury as Sarada DeviPremankur Chakraborty as RamakrishnaCourtney Stephens as Sister NiveditaBiswajit Chakraborty as Vishwanath Datta (Vivekananda's father)Piyali Mitra as Bhuvaneswari Devi (Vivekananda's mother)Archita Sahu as Moina Bai
This film was director Tutu Sinha's first work in big screen, before that he mainly worked as an ad film maker and television director. In an interview Sinha told– "I have directed serials like Trishna and Rajmahal. I have also directed the serial Sadhok Bamakhyapa up to its 1000th episode. I always wanted to make a film on Swamiji."
The film was shot in different places of West Bengal like Kolkata and in Odisha like Rairangpur, Similipal etc. Director Tutu Sinha had to travel all over India for the research work of this film. The events of Vivekananda's life in Rajasthan was recreated in Odisha. The scenes of Vivekananda's lectures at Parliament of World's Religions, Chicago in September 1893 was shot at Kolkata Town Hall.
Mainly theatre actors and actresses were taken in this film.Deep Bhattacharya played the character of Swami Vivekananda. Director Sinha watched a drama of a Bengali theatre group named Sambed where he found Bhattacharya.Gargi Roy Chowdhury played the role of Sarada Devi of young age. There was not any image of Swarada Devi available during her youth. The production team used computer applications to back-compose and find out how Sarada Devi might look during her youth. After the study they found Bengali film and television actress Gargi Roy Chowdhury suitable for the character. Roy Chowdhury told about acting as Sarada Devi– "I am mighty happy to portray one of the most liberated women of all times"Premankur Chattopadhyay, who is also a theatre actor played the role of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Chattopadhyay told he would be indebted to the director forever for giving him opportunity to play the character in this film. He also told– "I can't explain how it all felt as I mouthed lines like 'Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth.' I am grateful director Tutu Sinha could think of me as Ramakrishna"Sayak Chakraborty played the role of vivekananda's child hood. This was Sayak's debut film.California based actress Courtney Stephens played the character of Sister Nivedita.Archita Sahu played the role of Moina bai, a dancer at the court of Ajit Singh of Khetri. According to the director Sahu was "just right" for the role of Moina bai.
The music launch of the film took place in January 2013 at Rotary Sadan, Kolkata. There were 14 songs in the film's music album. The music of the film was composed by Nachiketa Chakraborty and Dr. Haricharan Verma and the songs were sung by Ajay Chakraborty, Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Subhankar Bhaskar, and Javed Ali.
All music composed by Nachiketa Chakraborty and Dr. Haricharan Verma.
Both the director and the producer of the film wanted to release the film in 2012. But, because the post-production word, they could not release it in that year. Next they targeted to release the film on 11 January 2013, the day before Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary. But they could not release the film on that day either. Finally the film was scheduled to release on 23 August 2013. The film's premier was organised at Nandan, Kolkata. Many state governments have declared this movie as tax free in their states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal.
The film garnered mixed reviews from critics. The Times of India rated the film 3 and a half out of 5 stars and stated the film "goes to show again that some films are still made in Tollywood, which do not get any hype, yet are good works of art in their own right." In this review the acting of Deep Bhattacharya was highly appreciated. Washington Bangla Radio on Internet wrote in their review: "Premankur and Deep have proven in the film that theatrical experience can be a great asset for actors".