Sardar Udham : Sircar’s Uncompromising Vision

When the end credits rolled, the only UK credits were for casting and the rest of the location credits were for the Indian and the Russian crew. Sircar explains his decision to shoot in Russia and also talks about the conscious effort on his part to make sure that his English speaking actors didn’t sound and “act” like the regular “Bollywoodish Britishers” we are used to as viewers. This is where the casting becomes significant for the film which also has the production design team to thank.

Sircar’s eye for detail was evident in Madras Cafe and here when he says that Attenborough’s Gandhi was a major inspiration, it’s obvious that he’s talking about the most significant part of the film, the massacre. It’s almost a replica of Attenborough’s shots, including ones of the hearings of Dyer and Dwyer but it’s with the immediate aftermath that Sircar hits hard. Sircar also speaks about a Kurosawa feature, The Hunter which served as an inspiration and is almost a perfect analogy for the story being told here.

A textbook character study more than anything else, ultimately it’s the writing that keeps the film afloat where Ritesh Shah and Shubendu Bhattacharya compliment each other like a vintage Sachin – Dravid duo at the crease. Avik Mukhophadyay who helms the camera has worked with some of the leading filmmakers in the country and has three National Awards for Cinematography to his name reunites with Sircar after October here to deliver some signature frames again.

Courtesy: Film Companion

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