I will wonder if cinematographers should be allowed to direct films, especially after Before the Rains.
The English Language debut of Santosh Sivan comes across as a hollow presentation. Not that it necessarily is, but it does come across as one. Personally I was continuously distracted by the cinematography. Especially the macro shots in shallow depth of field. Whether it is the embers, a branch, a toad that plonks as we close-up to the Sahib’s house, or a white flower drifting away from a leg, the imagery is so picture perfect, it grabs and hoards all attention and directs you away from the story.
The entire film is so heavy in colour and so sharp in focus, it almost negates the grey-area emotions of the characters. So sharp that you almost pay attention to a zit on the back of Rahul Bose’s neck, than the emotion that his character feels at the moment.
Rahul’s work is good, what little I could notice, Nandita Das fails to impress — she should really look for different roles.
Else, this is an art-director and a cinematographer’s beautiful conspiracy of a personal project.