Friday Review

The wizard of lens

Drum dance in the film "Chandralekha". Photo: special Arrangement

Drum dance in the film "Chandralekha". Photo: special Arrangement  

more-in

Cinematographer Kamal Ghosh will be remembered for his contribution to South Indian cinema.

He was from Kolkata. But he made an impact on South Indian cinema. A lens and light master, Kamal Ghosh (1910-1983), had a distinguished career as a cinematographer and director. He not only created history with his work in Chandralekha (1948), but also directed Telugu films such as ‘Paropakaram’ (1953) and had many hits to his credit.

Nephew of the famed filmmaker, writer and actor Debaki Bose, he received training from his illustrious uncle, working with New Theaters, Kolkata, in various aspects of filmmaking. It was thanks to the lawyer turned filmmaker Krishnaswamy Subramanyam that brought Ghosh to the south. He was the cinematographer for the successful ‘Anaadhai Penn’ (1938) that was directed by the veteran R.Prakash and produced by Jupiter Pictures. The lead pair was M.K. Radha and T. A .Sundarambal. Ghosh’s photography, especially the lighting, received a lot of praise.

‘Kacha Devayani’ (1941), directed by K Subramanyam, was another hit for the cinematographer. The way he shot the heroine T.R. Rajakumari in sleeveless blouses, enraptured moviegoers of that era and it turned her into the first sex symbol of South Indian Cinema.

The crowning glory of Ghosh’s career was the famous drum dance sequence in ‘ Chandralekha,’ a masterpiece from Gemini Studios and S. S. Vasan, director and producer. Many people mistakenly attribute this dance sequence, which cost Rs. five lakhs in the 1940s, to another camera wizard K. Ramnoth. But Ramnoth left Gemini Studios before the drum dance sequence was shot. The entire credit goes to Kamal Ghosh.

Ghosh was also closely associated with the top star of Telugu Cinema Pasupuleti Kannamba and her husband Kadaru Nagabhushanam and worked the camera for their films in Tamil and Telugu.

During his innings with Gemini Studios, he also trained many top cameramen such as A. Vincent, C.V. Ramakrishnan (Thambu) and C. Ellappa.

Kamal Ghosh was also closely associated with the top star of Telugu Cinema Pasupuleti Kannamba and her husband Kadaru Nagabhushanam and worked the camera for their films in Tamil and Telugu.

During his innings with Gemini Studios, he also trained many top cameramen such as A. Vincent, C.V. Ramakrishnan (Thambu) and C. Ellappa.

One intriguing aspect was that his name was spelt in film credits as ‘Kamaal’ (in Hindi it means feat/ wonderful) Ghosh and he never bothered to correct it.



Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:51:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/remembering-kamal-ghosh-the-cinematographer-and-director/article7769446.ece

Next Story