Monday, February 01, 2010

Rann - bad camera work

Just back from a bad experience with Rann. Actually I had gone to see Gul - you know who. My Favourite actress ;) So I was only expecting Gul Panag. I was into a mindset that nothing can put me down as I was anyway going to watch Gul. And she is beautiful and a good actress. Morever, there was Amitabh Bachchan sir who does not know how to act BADLY. There was Riteish who is quite good, improving each day. On the whole, there was this consolation that how bad can RGV go. It had to be a watchable movie.

But the camera work, I tell completely tested my patience. I was hissing pissed by the time the movie ended. The DOP/cinematographer was so bad that I wanted to kill him. Its a rare emotion to get about killing people. Believe me, its not everyday that I get such strong emoions. Okay let me cool down. Let me be a bit polite. He was so bad I wanted to slap him.

To start with, I couldn't even read the DOP's (Director of Photography) name. The movie started with a play of zillions of remotes going blur and clear, blur and clear. Such a give-away to start a movie with 'remotes' and 'people switching on news channels', for a movie which is about news and the news channels. Having said that, its a director's prerogative to start the movie in whatever ways he want to.

The point is that the start coincided or collided with the titles. The titles and the zillions of remotes were shot and edited in such a distracting way that reading the titles was simply impossible. I missed all the names. I actually missed the titles completely. And now, as I write this blog I am trying to google the name of the DOP, but can you believe it that I cant find it. O ya, I need to look up IMDB.COM.

So I finally get the name of the DOP / Cinematographer and I am really surprised. It is Amit Roy whose work, I genuinely loved in Sarkar. Unbelievable. Perhaps his assistants did this movie and he was doping.

The whole 15 minutes of final dialogue delivery of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was eaten away by the awfully creative camera work of Mr. Roy. I mean, "how can you create so much of distraction during a serious dialogue delivery, which is the main climax of the movie". The shot has a laptop and some other furniture in between Mr. Bachchan and the camera in various avatars. And the camera man is continuously playing with Mr. Bachchan, the laptop, the furniture, the India 24x7 logo etc etc.

In another scene, it seemed that the camera was right in the nose of Riteish. I could see that it was very difficult for him to even act. He was looking for something in 'khanna's house'. Riteish, if you are reading this blog, you need to tell me @lifeisbetter, if I was right in my assumptions.

I wouldn't be able to write about all the bad scenes, as most of the scenes were poorly shot. The one that comes to my mind is a shot of Mr. Paresh Rawal putting his foot to the lens of the camera, effectively to audience. Some people may seriously consider it rude to point legs to the audience. Ya there may be some who would consider it creative. But I think the latter will be fewer. Secondly, it seems to me that the idea was to symbolically depict that Mr. Paresh is the villain and he is kicking the media. Was it required, really? Till this point it is fine but I sincerely feel that you cant change the setting to suit your camera's focal length. In the same dialogue, in the close up of the foot, Mr. Rajat kapoor was sitting straighter than in the long shot !!

I know that normally the DOP does not care if the dialogue delivery is getting communicated properly to the audience. He only cares if the shot is looking good and creative. But that cannot be the case when DOP is mature. Only if the DOP immature, childish and amateurish, I may understand.

Overall, the lighting was not good. Brightness and contrast was poor. The shadow affects were not crisp and clear. The framing was very shaky. There were too many change in the lens work for a scene. On the overall it was an unnecessary attempt to go over-creative.

The cinematographer was clearly abusing creativity and making it irrelevant to the context of the movie. You cannot let your creative emotion become over-confident and take over your rational thought processes.

For instance, we understand that shaky camera work is one of the theories of photography. Handheld camera work is taken on a high note and is considered very creative in the industry circles. But one needs to know where to use it. It was relevant for movies like 'Blair Witch Project' and 'Paranormal Activity' and so was beautiful and satisfying to watch. In Rann, it was a flop show.

Very disappointed. The only saving grace was Gul's face. :) On a serious note, the story was good. Acting was very good and as usual Amitabh Bachchan sir is God. If only the camera work was downplayed...

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