In an emotionally fraught dramatic film encompassing long conversations between close family members living, both loving and acrimonious, under the same roof, it is wise to balance the multitudinous indoor shots with outdoor locales. Director Shakun Batra opened up Kapoor & Sons’ story by setting it in a bungalow in the scenic Coonoor.
And American cinematographer Jeffery Bierman shot the picturesque South Indian hill station so lovingly that it almost became a character in the film. Even a lush green graveyard is used as a backdrop for a romantic date between Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. Bierman also employed the setting of the family’s quaint bungalow and sprawling lawn to great effect, framing revelatory shots through glass-paned doors and capturing gorgeous sunsets through picket fences.
Moreover, he kept his lighting real without letting flashy gimmicks intrude; so much that you feel an almost immersive experience and become a part of the family. His camera caresses the actors’ faces, allowing them to eloquently express the love that unites them despite deep fault lines running in the family.
After his stellar work in Kapoor & Sons, it won’t be a surprise if other A-list Indian filmmakers clamour for Bierman to fly down from Los Angeles and shoot their films. Will we see more of this young cinematographer’s work on the Indian cinemascape? We sure hope so!