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Junun Review- The hypnotic musical journey your ear deserves.

Sagnik Kumar Gupta

Junun marks the debut of Paul Thomas Anderson , arguably the best American director alive, into the nonfiction terrain. He follows Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood (his frequent sound collaborator) to Rajasthan where the guitarist plans to make an album along with classical Indian artists.

The film 54 mins long, successfully paints a transcending image where the eastern and western cultures fuse to communicate in the divine language of music. The passion or madness for the universal language quite successfully transports us to the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort where the albums was recorded.

Anderson’s camera moves in a circular manner , aided with drone shots and hand held cameras showing the musicians playing in circles, probably depicting the circle of the life and the infinite loop of unspoken words spilling through the common language of art. We never know about the talented musician (even their names) until the end credits. The director has probably kept the human conversation to the minimum else it might have hampered the surreal hypnotic journey that he wants to take us along.

Anderson intimate camera behavior with patient gaze easily makes us feel so connected. His aesthetic sense flows throughout the film as he beautifully captures the Israeli composer and singer Shye Ben Tzur, India’s “Rajasthan Express” and Greenwood in their “sadhna” against the beautiful backdrop of the city. Anderson has immense respect for music that is being created as if a hermit is meditating and he is too careful too disturb him but looks at it with utter awe. The musicians are also wonderfully candid. They don’t seem to be bothered that a camera is panning at them, they are almost in a self-trance too immersed in the music, away from all the worldy thoughts. PTA ‘s extremely experimental filmmaking was proably the best fit for telling just a moving conversation. This film is a journey that the musician PTA wants you to experience ,feel and most importantly imbibe.



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Alternate Take

A space for reviews, retrospectives, analyses, interviews around all things cinema, standing left of the field.