The one who filmed nostalgia

Pradeesh M. Varma, who mesmerised movie-buffs with his cinematography in Kohinoor and 1983, says the Asif Ali-starrer was a challenging job

Framing a shot for a film set years back is not an easy job for a cinematographer as his frames will be subjected to severe scrutiny to find anything ‘modern’ there. But Pradeesh M. Varma creates magic with his visuals for Asif Ali’s latest outing Vinay Govind-directed Kohinoor, set in 1988.

While committing this film, Pradeesh was pretty sure that this film would not be a project that gave him full freedom and that it would be very challenging. “I got this offer last year. As the story happens in 1988, I knew that it would become a challenging job. I had to work in a fixed space as I had to avoid all the new and current properties in order to give it a nostalgic feel,” says Pradeesh.

Finding apt locations for the film was the major hurdle in front of him. “As the story unfolds around 27 years back, we had to be keen in finalising the locations too. There may not have been any drastic change to the milieu, but there still are some minute changes in the case of buildings, vehicles and costumes. We had to spend around two months for the location hunt in north Kerala,” he says.

Though the story is set in Kozhikode, it was filmed at Thalassery and Kannur. “Even though we found some locations in Kozhikode, owing to technical reasons, we had to do the filming in Kannur. Majority of the film was shot at Aandaloor Kavu there. Fortunately, we could find some suitable old buildings in that locality which reduced our workload,” says Pradeesh, who gives credit to the art director, the costume designer and the make-up designer of Kohinoor for pulling it off.

Pradeesh, who started his career assisting noted cinematographer Lokanathan, later became associated with P.S. Vinod. During his stint with V.K. Prakash, the latter offered Pradeesh his first independent work. “Poppins, directed by VKP, was my first independent work. I knew Vinay from then as he was VKP’s assistant. Later, I got the opportunity to crank the camera for Vinay’s debut film Kili Poyi. That film happened quickly,” says Pradeesh, who later wielded the camera for 1983, Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal, 100 Days of Love and Manglish.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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