Warsaw: Polish cinematographer Artur Zurawski, the director of photography of Rani Mukerji-starrer “Mardani”, is all praise for the actress. He says she went out of her way to make him feel comfortable while working on the 2014 film, which revolves around human trafficking.
"If I had full satisfaction of work while shooting 'Mardani' for Yash Raj Films last year, I owe my success to Rani Mukerji who went out of her way to make me comfortable while working in unfamiliar surroundings," Zurawski told reporters.
"I had taken a big risk to work for a Bollywood commercial without knowing the nitty-gritty or work ethics. The experience turned out to be a great job satisfaction. For me, the script is very important,” he added.
He also said that Pradeep Sarkar, director of the film in which Rani is seen as a brave woman police officer, was also cooperative.
“Both Rani and director Pradeep Sarkar turned out to be very cooperative and sympathetic. Rani used to create a peaceful atmosphere for me to understand the nuances of the scene. I was not used to working on the sets with 50 or 60 people around me.
“Rani saw that a congenial atmosphere is a must for the cinematographer to shoot. Normally, she used to utter this word 'Silence' to start the work," he said.
The film was screened at the prestigious Muranow theatre in Poland in January and Zurawski again got an opportunity to meet her.
"Though Rani is very professional to the core, she is very humane. Last month again I had a chance to interact with her when she came to Warsaw for the release of ‘Mardani’ in Poland. She gave me ample time to take her still pictures in various places in Warsaw. The result is simply awesome and I have sent her the album,” said Zurawski, who is in his early 40s.
In fact, he believes that Rani has it all to feature in western movies.
"Rani has the potential to work in western movies and she is looking for it. During her visit to Poland she clearly indicated her desire and asked Polish writers to find a good story for her. She is very keen to work in good movies rather than masala films,” Zurawski added.
The ace cinematographer has been mostly associated with documentaries like “Life to Live” and "On the Road", and he is again interested to work for Bollywood provided there is a proper script.
"Time has come that Bollywood should go for serious movies if they want to impress the audience at a global level. Unfortunately, Bollywood is an industry that sells unrealistic dreams and even people with sufficient amount of money make ordinary movies.
“Their economy is different and they don't want to take a chance to make good films. They should work more on their screenplays and, if need be, they should interact with western screenplay writers. It is not a sin to take inputs from experienced western screenplay writers,” he said.
Regarding his future collaboration with Bollywood, he said: "I am keen to work, but I need a proper screenplay. I don't want to work for money's sake only. Plus, I have two small children and I can't remain away from them for long. Next time, I would like to take them to India along with my wife."
Zurawski is also highly impressed by the film's producer Aditya Chopra's professionalism.
"He is all the time very focussed and he remembers all the details. He has a fantastic memory. No doubt he is very successful in producing good and clean movies. His hunt for good talent is always there. Normally, he has very good teams for his films. Aditya is shy of publicity, but his passion for hard work is amazing. Bollywood is fortunate that it has men like Aditya,” said Zurawski.
These days his good friend, Pawel Dyllus from Poland is shooting for a Bollywood film.
"There are many talented Polish cinematographers who are also interested in working in Hindi film industry. This is a technical line and despite the language difference, we can still communicate with the help of our cameras," said Zurawski.