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Every story has a soul in it and when director shapes it into a film, he wants that soul to enter into every audience body and feel the same what his characters are undergoing in the film. And in some films, the character transformation takes place within minutes. As soon as the protagonist gives a long emotional speech, Antagonist or his side kicks drop off the knife or gun in his hand and approach with wet eyes and soothing dialogues. We are habituated to this kind of story telling from the beginning. This story telling has become an instant Maggie. When this continues to happen, the emotional connection that the audience had with the characters in the film will be lost. Sometimes an emotional lag in a film helps the screenplay. Following this technique, a film maker can make the audience not only experience the film but make them live in the story.

In reality, human beings can’t accept a change instantly. We require more time and space to understand what’s happening and make ready our heart and mind to accept the change. But in films, we have only a few hours to convince your audience. It depends on how the director uses his cinematic run time to convey his story to the audience. Some directors enclose the story as soon as possible without any lag. But there should be some breathing space for the audience to convince themselves that a character’s experience in the film is genuine. When that time is given to the audience, it helps them to understand the character better and travel along. More over this can’t be found in a commercial cinema. Some directors will take this liberty of giving breathing space to an audience. That’s where an audience comes out with heartfelt experience.

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If a character is suffering from certain pain, then director tries to inject that pain into audience minds giving more time for the character to suffer. When everything goes perfect, definitely the pain of the character slowly gets into the audience like a slow poison and that’s where the audience starts reacting in the way director expected. This applies not only to entire film, but also a scene or a single shot. This emotional lag only works for some kind of stories.

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Many films were made using this technique. The audience starts complaining that first half is awesome and second half has been slowed down and lengthy. This is what we were hearing today for the movie Arjun Reddy. Here in this film, first half is completely the establishment of the characters and the rise of the protagonist. The pace of the story and the technicalities involved should be very fast as per the character design of Arjun in the film. The lensing, shot angle, the pace of the camera moment and the editing should match the anger, which is playing a major role in Arjun’s story. When the conflict arises, the character graph starts falling down. Arjun is in pain of love failure. In reality, anger affects instantly but pain affects slowly. This is what the true intention of Sandeep Reddy, the director of the film. Taking the cinematic liberty of longer run time, Sandeep deeply established the pain that Arjun has undergone. He gave a lot of suffering time as he quotes “Suffering is personal, let him suffer”. Finally, after watching Arjun suffering for a long time facing some odd situations in life, every audience has owned the pain and travelled along with the character. At a point of time, the audience felt ashamed of the character when the world around Arjun starts scolding him for his odd behaviour. The audience literally wanted Arjun to restart his life and waited eagerly for the climax. This kind of feeling is generated in the audience only when they own the character and deeply involves with the story. This is only possible when the director gives some breathing space for the audience to completely understand and feel the character. Sandeep makes no mistake here. He gave more time for the audience to study Arjun Reddy character clearly. More over when a character graph of a role in the film is said to be declining, the film pace slows down. Because it is not a building to fall down instantly, it’s the personal character of an individual and takes its own sweet time to fall down. Thus Arjun Reddy got into the audience like a drug and will surely haunt us for some more years.

The same has happened with Surya son of Krishnan, Mayakkam Enna etc. These films take their own time for the character to undergo pain and come out of it. Directors are not at all dumb enough to lag their films. They have something important for the audience to feel at that point. But sometimes this lag will affect the film badly due to lack of proper execution of any one or more of the 24 crafts. So it only works when 24 crafts of the film are on a similar scale favouring the story. Sandeep Reddy has succeeded in making us feel the pain of Arjun Reddy.

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Dinesh A
M.F.Tech Cinematography

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