Cinematographer John Schwartzman (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) once said that “there can be a million places you can choose to put the camera, and most of them are wrong”. Ram Gopal Varma would agree with the former half of that sentence, and put up his characteristic tweets about the latter. Apart from the decibel-shattering background scores, his films are best known for their innovative cinematography, sometimes ranging from borderline crazy to outright weird. As many wait for the maverick filmmaker’s long due return to form with Sarkar 3, here are some of the inventive shots found exclusively in ‘Company’ products.
THE STEERING WHEELS
RGV’s camera boldly goes where no film has gone before, and here we see him putting the audience in the driver’s seat, quite literally. In this shot from Department (2012), Sanjay Dutt is ‘driving’ an important conversation, and a car.
In this shot from Killing Veerappan (2016), where men are out on a ‘drive’ to, well, kill Veerappan.
In a series of now-infamous tweets and his autobiography ‘Guns and Thighs’, RGV had once spoken at length about actress Sridevi’s thighs. His obsession with women has been a recurring topic of discussion on social media, and glimpses of this often find their way in his films as well. For example, this shot of Mahi Gill from Not A Love Story (2011).
Or, the unambiguously titled short film A Day in the Life of Laskhmi Manchu’s feet (2016).
However, when it comes to cameras awkwardly positioned in and around bodies, RGV does not discriminate. In the low-budget Telugu horror film Ice Cream (2014), a supposedly scary scene finds the camera placed between the thighs of a teddy bear:
After Urmila Matondkar, Antara Mali, Nisha Kothari, Tiger Shroff and Donald Trump, RGV seems very passionate about his beverages. In Department (2012), Rana Daggubati is seen drinking beer in a rather unflattering shot:
In an example of what he calls ‘rogue filmmaking’ from the same film, the camera is positioned in a tea pan between the characters.
And here again in Sarkar 3 (2017), where Yami Gautam is being seen through a tea cup, for hopefully significant reasons.