Home BIG STORY Meet Odisha boy behind Bollywood magnum opus ‘Padmavati’

Meet Odisha boy behind Bollywood magnum opus ‘Padmavati’


Bhubaneswar: At a time when the trailer of upcoming Bollywood magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ is garnering appreciation from all corners, people of Odisha have a special reason to enjoy it even more. This is because a boy from the State has played a crucial role in the making of the mega budget period drama which is set to hit the screens on December 1.

Nihar Ranjan Samal, a native of Jajpur in Odisha and an alumnus of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), has worked as sound designer for ‘Padmavati’.

Nihar, who won the National Award for his brilliant work in ‘Madras Cafe’ in 2013, had a 160-day tight schedule for ‘Padmavati’ at various locations in the country and now he exudes confidence and very pleased knowing that the film’s trailer is receiving good response.

He said the film has been shot in sync sound (used original sound from location instead of creating in studio) and it has its own challenges

“Sound designing for such type of films is really tough and at the same time, it’s quite a learning experience for a technician. I am glad that we have done justice to the script and vision of the director,” said the award-winning sound designer.

The star-studded film starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles is being directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is considered a task master in Bollywood.

When asked whether he had any difference of opinion with the filmmaker during shooting, Nihar quickly adds “it happens in filmmaking and it’s good if one has a valid point”.

This is the second project for the Odisha boy with Bhansali after he did historical romance ‘Bajirao Mastani’ in 2015.

The sound designer now shares a very good chemistry with Bollywood heartthrobs Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone after working with them in two mega projects.

When asked what is so special about the two star actors, the soft-spoken technician said: “The way they (Ranveer-Deepika) both surrender before the director with utmost trust and belief is amazing. The roles needed actors who are ready to go through some rigorous processes and stay cut-off from external disturbances for long and that’s what they exactly did.”

“I share a great understanding between the duo and it makes my job easy,” Nihar added.

The busy technician from the State is now one of the most popular sound designers in the Hindi film industry and has done more than 30 films including documentary, short and feature.

Apart from Padmavati, Nihar is currently working with Raj Kumar Hirani on Sanjay Dutt biopic which has Ranbir Kapoor as lead.

After this, he will start working for Shoojit Sircar in ‘October’ starring Varun Dhawan as protagonist.

Asked about any plans to do Odia films, he said as of now he is totally occupied and will fully concentrate on Bollywood projects.

He has worked on all kinds of films – short films, documentaries, indie feature films, regional films and mainstream commercial Hindi films as well. His filmography includes films like 3 Idiots, Vicky Donor, Tanu Weds Manu, Ferrari Ki Sawaari and Madras Cafe.

Like every other family his family too was against his decision to purse Bollywood dreams and instead wished him to settle for a regular and secured job in Odisha.

“My family also opposed me a lot, but slowly I got good exposure and developed interest in sound. After my diploma film got national award, it motivated me to do more meaningful work,” explained the techie who has done MSc in Physics.

“I am really fortunate that I got a chance to work with so many different directors and films of different genres,” signs off Nihar.