Having played Bhudhini in Kamakhya Narayan Singh’s ‘Bhor’, Saveree Sri Gaur looks back on her acting journey so far and recollects the commitment of the production team did to make the film feel true
Young Saveree Sri Gaur, who made her début in a feature with 2018 Bhor in which she plays the main protagonist Budhini, is looking forward what viewers and critics think of her acting. Directed by Kamakhya Narayan Singh, the acclaimed Bhor was released on several OTT platforms, and is still a critical favourite for many.
The 20-something actor made her acting début with theatre, not surprising as she was only three months old when she was introduced to the stage. Now she is a senior faculty member with Asmita Theatre Group, Mumbai. Saveree has worked on a few short films like Fulki that released in 2015 and Typewriter went for a screening at Cannes in 2021. Bhor went to IFFI Goa in 2018 and has also won an award in Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival of Boston as one for Best Feature on Social issues.
Bhor unfolds the story of Budhini, a girl from the Musahar community from a small hamlet in Bihar. Through the protagonist, the film brings a spotlight on the challenges faced everyday by the women due to absence of a toilet in rural homes and in the slums in cities.
Saveree says Bhor is special for her because of the experiences she gained. Born to Sangeeta Gaur, a music director and Arvind Gaur, the founder of Asmita Theatre Group, Saveree says theatre wasn’t planned; she calls it an instinct. She says, “Having made my stage début at the age of three months and attending children’s workshops, theatre came to me as naturally as a bird takes flight. Later, when I went to college, I wanted to become a psychologist, but ended up choosing literature.”
Saveree wasn’t sure where to start in films, explaining, “As a theatre actor we are open to doing all roles, in any platform. However, I wasn’t too sure where or when to begin.”
Behind the scenes
For production, the cast was taken to the village, there was no vanity van, no crew. The team was to live there and become a part of the people in the community. “Not to difficult for actors to get into a role, one would think; but this also required us not to take bath, to live such that we begin to look like the people in the hamlet. The skin had to naturally get the rough look. The ‘not taking a bath’ part was the most difficult,” she laughs.
They were also taken into the coal fields to work so that the skin and hair accumulates the environmental radicals such as coal dust. The team did this for about three months, during which they completed the shooting for the movie. “Director Kamakhya envisioned the movie and the characters in a certain way to tell a story. That’s what makes Bhor the art that it is. After the shoot was done and I returned home, my mother didn’t recognise me. When I stepped into the shower and took a long bath I realised the small privileges we live with,” she concludes.