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HOT 100 – Cinematographers – Sudeep Chatterjee, Bajirao Mastani

Sudeep Chatterjee, who bagged the National Award for Cinematography for Bajirao Mastani, is a whiz at conjuring impressive images and creating atmosphere in intimate scenes. The light-and-shadow play ensured that everything in it looked like it was lit by flame torches and candles.

He is most creatively satisfied with the Deewani Mastani song shot in a palatial hall of mirrors. He achieved the ‘antique gold’ monochromatic tone largely by controlling the art direction and costume.

He said, “Bhansali and I worked for months on preproduction for the colour palettes. For the song, we were not in favour of using filters; I find it more challenging to create through lighting.”

The climax of the film was in sharp contrast as Chatterjee’s camerawork captured the starkness of Bajirao’s death in a jute tent as he wore a simple cotton outfit. Yet, Chatterjee pulled off the synchronicity with the otherwise opulently shot film.

Cinematographer Priya Seth enthused, “The man is a master. The scale at which he mounted the film and the finish on it, is second to none.”

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