Kangana can overshadow Saif Ali Khan and Shahid in Rangoon: Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar

Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar is collaborating with director Vishal Bhardwaj for the second time in Rangoon after Haider. The film starring Kangana Ranaut, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor set to release on February 24. Pankaj also worked on the critically acclaimed film Ship of Theseus. The time and surroundings of Haider are quite different than that of Rangoon, and Pankaj seems to have enjoyed working his charm on the lens with the latest film as well.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Pankaj talks about the challenges he faced while shooting Rangoon and also mentions that Kangana Ranaut is the perfect Julia. Pankaj felt that she brings a rare combination of strength and vulnerability on screen. He also explains at length about the approach he follows while shooting on a remote island in difficult weather conditions, the experience of working with three actors and more. Below are the excerpts from the interview: Rangoon’s cinematography. We spent about three months before finalising Arunachal Pradesh as the location. Vishal and I, finally decided on Arunachal because it had a certain look that suited the mood of the film. Rangoon belongs to a particular period. The film has a backdrop of World War II. So the film has two very stark looks. One is that of cold, desaturated, the very strong look of the wartime era and another is that of the colourful and vibrant Bombay from that time. We have used very bright and bold colours for shooting Bombay sequences and stark colours for northeast sequences. We have used the colour palette that was used in old films.
We looked at a lot of pictures from the same era as that of the film. We took a look at INA (Indian National Army), British soldiers and northeast in that era. Those pictures were our references for shooting war sequences. But Rangoon is essentially a romantic musical with war as a mere backdrop. Is Rangoon influenced by Casablanca?No, the visual style of Rangoon is not influenced by Casablanca. Approach to shoot the intense scenes between Shahid and Kangana .We kept the camera free floating because that’s very organic and is also the unspoken way in which Vishal and I work. It helps to capture actors in an organic way. We first rehearse the scene with actors, then Vishal allows me to freely move the camera around the actors. I am always responding to actors.

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