The filming style of cinematographers and filmmakers have evolved over a period of time, and it of course varies depending on the subject they are going to ultimately shoot. But when it comes to battle scenes featured in Hindi movies, a variation of the aerial shot of both the armies rushing towards the other as the war begins, seems to be a necessary ingredient.
Right from Ashutosh Gowariker’s period drama Jodhaa Akbar (2008) to yet-to-be released Shamshera, we have been using the same technique of filming an epic war scene right as it is about to begin — a crowd of steel-armoured warriors rushing on their steeds or on foot to confront their enemies.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
It had been earlier mentioned that Jodhaa Akbar cinematographer Kiran Deohans was influenced by Hollywood features like Gladiator (2000) and Brad Pitt-starrer Troy (2004) to shoot the Ashutosh Gowariker directorial as he found the colour of those film’s locations almost the same as Rajasthan’s (where the Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan movie had been filmed). Both Gladiator and Troy are still remembered for the grand way in which their battle sequences had been shot.
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Bajirao Mastani (2015)
Seven years after Jodhaa Akbar was released, acclaimed director Sanjay Leela Bhansali chose to represent a portion of his battle scene in the exact same way. In fact, one can even catch a glimpse of Bajirao’s men riding their white horses and directing their animals towards the enemy in the trailer of Bajirao Mastani. Three years later, Bhansali employed the same tool to show the scale of the battle in his controversial 2018 release Padmaavat.
Kesari, Panipat and Manikarnika (2019)
Anurag Singh’s Kesari, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat and Kangana Ranaut’s biopic of Queen of Jhansi, Manikarnika, are three other films in the next year that have almost the same quintessential aerial shot of the battle portions featured in the films. Of course, using this technique time and again makes sense as it does show the grand scope and potential of the battle, lending it a certain authenticity, while also probably showing the producers where all the money went (in VFX).
One-and-a-half decade later, we are still here. In the newly released trailer of Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera, the aerial shot once again features during what can one presume is one of the crucial scenes in the film. We see Shamshera riding, yes, a white horse no less, and charging towards the enemy with his gang in full fury.
Helmed by Karan Malhotra, and also starring Sanjay Dutt and Vaani Kapoor, Shamshera releases in cinemas on July 22.
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