HOT 100 – Cinematographers – Kiran Deohans, Sarbjit

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28 years since his debut with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (and he won the Filmfare award for Best Cinematographer), Kiran Deohans has filmed only seven Hindi mainstream movies! …


28 years since his debut with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (and he won the Filmfare award for Best Cinematographer), Kiran Deohans has filmed only seven Hindi mainstream movies! But his high strike rate with films like Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, Jodha Akbar, Agneepath and the recent Sarbjit, means that his name is a codeword for quality camerawork.

In Sarbjit, he created magnetic visuals like the shot where you see the titular character’s manacled hand reach out from behind dark prison bars towards a ray of light that enables him to read a smuggled letter from home. Deohans said he lit each jail scene differently despite the limitations of a 6×8 feet room with just one source of light – a small window.

He desisted from suffusing the cell with light to obtain the clichéd cold look, and instead used tobacco-colour lighting with a cooler tint at nights; eloquently capturing the prisoner’s loneliness.

Deohans believes that the biggest canvas is an actor’s face. The scene he is particularly fond of is the one in which Sarbjit’s wife (Richa Chadda) reprimands his sister (Aishwarya Rai) for attempting suicide and exhorts her not to give up her struggle to free him.

He stated, “This was a dialogue-heavy, interior scene without wide expanses to shoot. I lit the actors in a way that I did not intrude on their expressions but ensured that the light added to the scene’s emotional content.”

The FTII trained Deohans, who successfully directed the music video Dillagi recently, would like to move on to film direction provided he finds the right script. Till then, he should have no problem landing another prize assignment in Bollywood … whenever he chooses.

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