When Ravi K Chandran, one of India’s most sought after cameramen, chose to walk out of the Hrithik Roshan-Priyanka Chopra-starrer Agneepath, a remake of the cult classic that goes by the same name, several eyebrows were raised. That’s because it was for the first time that the ace cinematographer had walked out of a film project in a career spanning almost 25 years!
Says Ravi, who has been the cameraman for over 50 films including several blockbusters such as Kandukondain Kandukondain, Dil Chahta Hai, Kannathil Muthammitaal, Boys, Dhoom, Aayutha Ezhuthu, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, My Name is Khan and 7aum Arivu, “I chose to opt out of this project because of creative differences with the director Karan Malhotra, who is making his debut with this movie. We parted as friends and continue to remain that way even today.”
The film, which is a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer, is being produced by Karan Johar and has Hrithik Roshan reprising Amitabh Bachchan’s role while Sanjay Dutt essays Danny Denzongpa’s character. “I’m someone who believes that my ideas must gel with that of the director’s. Only when there is a harmony of ideas, will I be doing justice to my craft. If it’s missing, I don’t continue,” says the cameraman, who goes on to point out that he started work on this project last February.
“Out of the 142 days it took to make this film, I shot for 62 days,” he discloses.The remaining portion has been shot by Kiran Dohan. Although he may have had creative differences with him, all that Ravi has for the director is praise.
“The director is an intelligent person and this movie is bound to work big time at the box office. It’s a pity our ideas didn’t gel. We are still good friends.”
He signs off with a statement that shows why the world considers him a true professional. “I don’t compromise on quality. I don’t let my mind get affected by factors like ‘This movie has a big hero or a big director. I’ve not succumbed to the pressures generated by the commercial set up. I’m someone who subscribes to the view, ‘Respect your creativity.’ If you don’t, your decisions will never work!”