Archive for February, 2010


Karthik calling Karthik

   Posted by: aman    in Other

A few days back on the radio I heard Farhan Akhtar say, ‘I am nervous for everyone … we have a new DoP. I hope the movie works.’ I messaged Sanu, who called back and later updated his FaceBook status: I am the DoP for Karthik calling Karthik. I went to see KcK last night, as I had promised Sanu. It’s been a long time since I saw a movie in a theatre. In fact, I did not even know how to book tickets! Anyway, I went …

I loved seeing Director of Photography: Sanu John Varughese. I hoped by the end of the movie I can feel proud of his work. I was, Sanu, I was very proud of you last night. The subtle colours and lights work very well. These are the whys I liked the cinematography:

•    When the protagonist is on the calls, the shadows creep in from the side of the frame.
•    When the protagonist is coming to terms with his reality, the hard steel lighting and ambience is a metaphor for his struggle.
•    The way multiple points of views are arranged when one character sees another one through the glass partition. Good editing too.
•    When the character is confused and his face is shown on the water dispenser –brilliant.
•    The way in tense close-ups, the scar under the protagonist’s eye is highlighted.
•    The odd top shot of the protagonist on the bed, with the bed cover framing the scene. Shows the mood very well.
•    When the protagonist’s perceived truth is about to be revealed the shots change from colour to black and white. That gets my vote!
•    The lit up shots when the protagonist is trying to hide and find himself juxtaposed with the the sea scene where the lover is misty eyed.
•    When the final call comes and the protagonist switches on the light, the texture of the scene changes.

Overall, Sanu you deepened the script and used the rules of aesthetics to serve and enhance the story and never drew attention to your work. I found the lemon lighting in the love scene a little jarring but actually the state of mind of the characters too was jarring. Also the protagonist in chains on one call, not needed. He scampers away very well.

A word about the film:
I liked Karthik calling Karthik. I normally do not trust the directorial intention in movies where reality is distorted to serve art. Many a times it is a very thin line. Though, I believe, TZP, MINK, and Paa remain authentic. I found KcK to be authentic.

Script-wise: The overcoming the hesitation could have been weaved in better with the nervousness and we would have saved time to show character development. But the core story is very well handled. The meta-question is well depicted: If I am happy about something abnormal, why do you have a problem with it? I disagree with reviewers who do not like the ending. I thought the ending was intelligent and practical. Most psychological situations have practical solutions. One has to end a movie somewhere and care is the most important aspect in psychology.

So Sanu, thank you! Congratulations to Vijay Lalwani and Farhan Akhtar, whoever did the sets, and of course to you. Hugs!

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Read, while you can …

   Posted by: aman    in Other

I reviewed Manjul Bajaj’s book Come, Before Evening Falls recently. It is a very good take on the Haryana Jat culture. She has opened a new chapter in Indian writing in English. See here.