'Amaltash' is a visually-rich journey of two soul mates who find each other through music. Inspired by real-life events it’s a reminder of the value of friends, family and love. In the chaos of modern day life, we find peace and tranquillity in the eyes of Rahul and Keerthi as they live their month and a week of eternity.
The music is the centrepiece. The essence of this love story. The perfect partner to the visuals. It defines Rahul, Keerthi and their Love.
The camera captures modern life as we experience it. Sunsets from atop a hill. Star gazing from the terrace, resting in the lap of that loved one. Endless looks into each other’s eyes.
Its ever present. A lullaby, a jamming session, a rock concert, a call out to that loved one.
Amaltash is a simple love story. The realities of life itself represent the shades between good and bad, the wide spectrum of emotions, that makes this a love story unique and yet so familiar.
~ The ‘Real’ music ~
All the songs in the movie are recorded on location and performed live by the actors and musicians. This occurred naturally mainly because all the actors are musicians in real life. The script was written around the artists and has organically utilized this attribute in the movie.
Having musicians in the cast gave us the luxury of improvising the music until the last moment, and some of it was simply composed on the go as we shot the songs. This gives the movie a natural flow. We have retained these creative moments in the movie to make the experience real for the audiences.
The compositions and lyrics are in-sync with the tone and treatment of the movie. Mayuresh, who has written the lyrics, also assisted Suhas with the dialogues and script improvisation. This maintained consistently of language and went a long way in maintaining the authenticity of all the characters.
The music blends together various genres that cut across cultures and age groups. There are songs from Indian fusion, Light Indian Classical, Marathi Bhaavgeet (emotion oriented), and Country genres. With the sole exception of the song ‘Trusha’, which plays in the background, all other songs have been performed live.
When recording the music for the album, we teamed up with the best instrumentalists to render the preludes and interludes. Our music team comprised of Atul Raninga (keyboard) and Niladri Kumar (sitar), who are versatile artists of international acclaim. We recorded multiple performances of ‘Trusha’ and ‘Sarale Saare’ for the album. The orchestration is materially different in the album and the movie; for instance, the songs in the album have delicate interludes, unlike in the film where interludes have been deliberately kept simple, and even excluded.
Rahul is inarguably a gifted artist. He learnt the piano, within a short span of 3 months, for the movie. He has played it live in all his scenes, which maintains the realism of the character. For the first time in his career he has professionally performed songs in English. Pallavi too has ventured successfully into the Country genre and the Indian fusion genre.
In his first stint as a lyricist, Mayuresh has written songs in three languages, English, Hindi and Marathi. Each of the songs has its own personality, ranging from romance to motherly love and friendship. Pallavi has penned two songs in the movie, one of them being the jamming sessions. The song ‘Sarale Saare’ is a masterpiece written by the late Shanta Shelke, a stalwart in Marathi literature, and it an absolute privilege to have her name associated with our film.
~ The ‘Real’ sound ~
The entire movie, including all character interactions and the music sequences, has been shot in sync sound. Capturing the environment around - the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, a horn blown by a passing vehicle - makes the viewing experience more real and helps to connect with the characters. We thought this was especifically necessary in a slice-of-life film.
Our commitment to maintaining reality was not without its challenges. It was election time in Pune and political parties were actively campaigning around the city. A number of sequences had to be reshot as we discovered minute interruptions in background sound. However, these unintended iterations also helped in evolving the characters.
It was crucial that the conversations between characters get maximum focus. We paid special attention to that when balancing the various sounds that were part of every frame.
In retrospect, it was a challenging yet a highly satisfying decision to use sync sound.
~ The ‘Real’ locations ~
Almost the entire movie has been shot in real light. The cinematography team implemented that to perfection while being under tight production schedules. All the locations are real-life locations. We avoided the use of any artificial sets in the film.
The most beautiful location was the house where Rahul lives. It is a quaint little place nesting in the heart of the city with a street outside that is continuously buzzing. However, once you enter the house you get to experience a small world-within-a-world experience. The building is uniquely Pune. Its an archaic design called “Wada”, a format now largely extinct.
We discovered some beautiful moments in the city’s life when shooting for the montages. The reconnaissance exercise was crucial, because we needed the precise amount of light and the right moments that would fit the visual progression of the film. Pune is a city that has a seamless blend of both, the old and the new. Our aim was to capture this flavor of the city’s culture and blend it with moments in the film.
The most challenging sequence was shooting with school kids, even though it was just a couple of shots. Making the shots effective without causing any disturbances for the rest of the school was a challenging task, and a great learning experience
~ The aesthetics ~
The art, costumes and camera departments were all headed by people who have decades of experience in photography. This ensured that every frame has the right balance and looks visually coherent. When we finalized the location for the house, it was given a complete makeover to suit the visual requirement of the film.
When designing the art, it was ensured that no superfluous property occupied the frame. Every notable property used in the movie, both tangible and intangible, contributes to the adding a nuance to the character, thereby making the viewing experience authentic and non-deliberate. The color scheme of the costumes were also meticulously designed and finalized so that it looked real, relevant and demographically suitable for the characters.