Look Into the Ice

Shooting his first feature film Frozen (2007) in black and white was probably the best decision that director Shivajee Chandrabhushan made.

Written by Alaka Sahani | Published: November 28, 2009 1:22:34 am

Frozen

Shivajee Chandrabhushan

Enlighten Home Library,Rs 399

Shooting his first feature film Frozen (2007) in black and white was probably the best decision that director Shivajee Chandrabhushan made. Setting the psychological drama in the harsh winter of Ladakh — where the temperature dipped to minus-20 degree Celsius — was even better. The monochromatic treatment complements the expansive,snow-covered landscape. And so when the cover of this DVD calls it a “new-age Hindi film in spectacular black and white”,you can’t help but agree.

The moonscape of Ladakh is the perfect backdrop for the dreamy and surreal world of Lasya,who lives in a remote village there with her father Karma and younger brother Chomo. The miles of barren land also reflect the bleak life the poor family leads. The only dash of colour in the grim story is the forever-curious Lasya,who is full of mischief. She provides a warm touch,just as the fluttering prayer flags break the monotony of the hills.

Their life is disturbed when the army moves in and sets up its camp a hundred yards from their home. There is a languid pace to Frozen,but Chandrabhushan makes sure the tension never really eases.

Danny Denzongpa delivers a stellar performance as the aging and ailing father while Gauri Kulkarni is impressive as Lasya. Yashpal Sharma and Raj Zutsi are convincing in their brief appearances as evil moneylenders. But the real star is the cinematography by Shanker Raman,who allows the rush of colour only in the last frame.

alaka.sahani@expressindia.com

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