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Color or Black and White

April 14, 2010 05:20:03 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Had V.K. Murthy, the Dada Saheb Phalke award winner for the current year not been there, the cult status that black and white films made by Guru Dutt have attained, be it PYAASA, KAAGAZ KE PHOOL, SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM, would not have been possible. Prasoon Pandey, the younger brother of Piyush Pandey and an accomplished filmmaker in his own right (the recent Samsung mobile phone campaign featuring Aamir Khan is his creation), had once opined the nature of lighting that was used in Guru Duttt's films to create an ambience is a matter of study for the future filmmakers.

Most of the films of Guru Dutt form a part of the course content at NFDC in Pune, and it is mostly owing to the magic that V.K. Murthy had created with his camera work which made Guru Dutt's film at par with the great French masters in using the source of light to create an element of spectacle in his oeuvre. It is a tribute to Murthy's genius that he has been conferred with the title of Dada Saheb Phalke Award, first award for a technician in history of Phalke Awards.
But he is rather disturbed that the cult status of Guru Dutt's films may be lost for ever, and his disturbance is owing to the attempt in this direction being made by Guru Dutt's son. In fact history is also illustrative. Previous attempts of releasing black and white films in color have not met with success, and these attempts were made on most successful films of their times, like NAYA DAUR and MUGHAL-E-AZAM.

The temptation to inject color in black and white creations needs to be resisted as a matter of fact. Color captivates, but to retouch a work made in black and white should be done only in the same manner as a hunter approached an injured beast. It however is not being done and therefore the viewing public is not appreciating the effort.

Murthy as a matter of fact is one of the doyens of Indian cinema and was conferred with lifetime achievement award at IIFA Awards and has also won Filmfare awards twice over. He is a cinematographer who has also worked with Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihlani. If his films are studied, it would become apparent that a sense of music flows out of them and it could be owing to the fact that he was a trained violinist in Carnatic music.

May be, after this award has been conferred, a repertoire of the films could come out in the market, and it would be one of the collectables that connoisseurs would be waiting for.

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