Frames in 'Purusha Pretham' were set to highlight the loneliness of characters: Director Krishand

Krishand also tried to create visuals as a medium to convey humour in 'Purusha Pretham'. Video stills | YouTube

Director Krishand's 'Purusha Pretham', which is streaming on Sony Liv, continues to receive praise, even after three weeks of its release. While the movie's neo-noir making style, satire and performances are a class apart, it is the unusual framing that has become the point of discussion among movie buffs. Director Krishand, who is also the cinematographer of the film, said he used the framing to highlight the loneliness of his characters in the big world. It also helped him emphasise the aspect of death.

“If you notice, we have not used any gory images to represent death. The frames do the talking. Also, reducing the characters to a corner makes them appear very small in a big space. This conveys their loneliness,” he said.

Krishand added that he wanted to cognitively engage the audience, instead of giving them ease of viewing. “I had used these similar frames in my earlier two works. I wanted to underline this style in this film too,” he said.

Though it was a risk he took, Krishand is happy that people didn't complain. He adds that the content and the random jokes used in the movie also enabled people to absorb the images as it was.

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According to him, he also broke the 180-degree rule in screen direction in every shot. “If you notice, the characters are either on the left or right corners. Unlike the usual 180 rule where the viewer is on one side of the axis of conversation, here the camera moves around the axis of conversation. However the coherence is maintained by Gestalt principles of design,” he said.

The Gestalt theory is based on the idea that the human brain will attempt to simplify and organise complex images or designs that consist of many elements, by subconsciously arranging the parts into an organised system that creates a whole, rather than just a series of disparate elements. “Hence they are framed in corners as frames within frames. Also, the corner framing keeps the viewer cognitively engaged like playing a game of tennis,” Krishand added.

Krishand also tried to create visuals as a medium to convey humour in 'Purusha Pretham'. “Apart from the dialogues and the content, I wanted to try out visual humour in 'Purusha Pretham', a technique used in graphic novels and cartoons. For example, the characters are cut in half at times. Also, there is a scene in which the plant remains on top of Alexander Prashant's character Sebastian's head after a fight.

This evokes laughter. There is another scene in which Sebastian is drinking orange juice. You can also see a bunch of trophies on the side. Usually, these scenes are blurred, but here we used it to generate humour,” he said, adding that he was inspired by Sam Eshmails movie ‘Comet’ and the series ‘Mr Robot’. Also, Darshana's spectacles used in the movie was inspired by Kevin's character in the movie 'Sin City'.

The director, whose earlier work includes the state award-winning film 'Aavasavyuham', said not everyone has appreciated the use of the creative frames in the movie. “Some questioned it saying I was unnecessarily complicating things. But I'm sure that similar attempts will be made by other directors in the future,” he added.

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