Harper's Bazaar (India) - - BAZAARHOT -

Watch­ing Su­nita Ra­dia’s sweep­ing shots of the parched Rann of Kutch in Jal can leave you feel­ing un­easy. In­deed, Girish Ma­lik’s tale of love and loss set against a back­drop of wa­ter scarcity, which took many months to tran­si­tion from film fes­ti­vals to com­mer­cial screens, is given life

sim­ply by spec­tac­u­lar cam­er­a­work. Grow­ing up in Jhark­hand, Ra­dia had no cin­e­matic as­pi­ra­tions. In Mumbai, where she trav­elled to after mar­riage, a chance meet­ing with cin­e­matog­ra­pher Gopal Shah in­tro­duced her to movies. Ra­dia’s first ap­pren­tice­ment was un­der Binod Prad­han, for San­jay

Leela Bhansali’s Dev­das. “I can’t for­get how much I en­joyed as­sem­bling cranes, lev­el­ling tracks, fix­ing lights, con­nect­ing ca­bles and wires. When­ever I found a cam­era, I’d try to op­er­ate it,” she re­calls. Ra­dia as­sisted on Rang De Bas­anti and Munnab­hai MBBS be­fore mak­ing an

in­de­pen­dent foray into cin­e­matog­ra­phy. The en­thu­si­as­tic streak has paid off. Jal’s evoca­tive vi­su­als showcase Ra­dia’s mas­tery. “Cin­e­matog­ra­phy is an in­tense art and I’m not an art stu­dent. Some­one just gave me a cam­era and here I am,” she says. The cin­e­matog­ra­pher,

who stays in Mumbai with her hus­band and son, is slated to start work on di­rec­tor Sangeeth Si­van’s new film,

among a slew of other projects.

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