As other filmmakers can certainly relate, I have seen my film about 150 times. But there is one shot that always gets me and I consider it my favorite.
It is near the end of the film. There is a showdown between the protagonist, Ravi, played by 7 year old Aditya Bhagirath, and his school teacher. In that confrontation, there is a lot of emotion, and Ravi’s eyes well with tears. It is a powerful moment. At that point, his teacher pulls him out of class.
My favorite shot is the one where Ravi is led into the office and left there.
Firstly, it is a subtle piece of camerawork. The shot starts with a static frame for several seconds before tracking forward, so slowly, and bringing us closer to Ravi. I remember when we shot this, it took some rehearsing for camera, because the space was tight for the dolly. My hats off to Christophe my DP and Laurent Shepman, my dolly grip. It looks amazing.
The other thing that makes it magic is the performance. If before, we saw Ravi crying, in this shot, he is holding back the tears. He is clearly moved, but he keeps it in. You can see though that he is very moved. His breathing is shallow. He is overwhelmed. He’s blown away and he can barely keep it together.
For me, this is the important transition in the film from victim to hero.
It’s this shot, even 150+ viewings later, that has ME in tears. The essence of it is the whole reason I made the film.