Aarti Bajaj; an editor who chases the art of deconstruction and reconstruction

Tabinda Afroz

Editing, in Bajaj’s words, is the art of deconstructing and
reconstructing the entire film at the editing table.

Aarti Bajaj began her career as a
film editor with Anurag Kashyap’s 2001 film ‘Paanch’. The talented editor went
on to cut more than 30 films in the years that followed. She is one of India’s
most prolific and well-regarded film editors today. The roster of films edited
by Aarti Bajaj includes Black Friday, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., Jab We Met,
Aamir, Rockstar, and Tamasha. Aarti also edited the TV Series Sacred Games
recently .

 Her plan  was to pursue photography professionally but
that changed when she came to Mumbai and discovered editing. She used to employ
a camera to watch, observe and record people. According to her medium of
editing afforded all the pleasures of capturing people on camera and some. It
allowed her to observe people in action, hear them talk, listen to them express
themselves, see them interact with other, understand their personalities, and
document their behaviour. She took up editing and continued to do what she had
always enjoyed doing, which is watching people.

SOME ELEMENTS FOUND IN AARTI BAJAJ’S
EDITING STYLE :

OBJECTIVITY

Aarti Bajaj has the objectivity 
in her work which is very important as an editor. Filmmakers are very
rarely objective about their work. They tend to get very close to their work
and often fall in love with their own films. A filmmaker needs an editor who
can help him identify the strengths and weakness of the uncut film in a
neutral, dispassionate and fair manner. The editor needs to be capable of being
ruthless, unforgiving and objective without being dispassionate, detached and
unemotional. The judgment of her as an 
good editor is she never gets clouded with attachment and has the
objectivity in her work.   

REALISM

In her edited movies  the editing tends to be seamless with an
emphasis on continuity. The continuity in the film is important which makes it
stand out. The lighting  in the movie
appears more to be natural and neither high contrast or washed out. The  presence of Realism in the editing style. The
use of color correction also adds to the realism of the  movie 
for example in Black Friday the color black dominates the movie.

FLOW AND
RHYTHM

In the absence of a genuine connection, the
process of editing is just cutting and pasting; and not that art that it needs
to be. She as an  editor forms an  sincere connection with films and cuts them
with intelligence, skill and sensitivity. She 
makes sure that the film has the right rhythm and flows seamlessly.

The Films edited by her the right flow to it
which makes the whole film seamless. It is important that viewers enjoy the
flow of the film without effort and with comfort and ease which her films have.

DIFFERENT
GENRES

Aarti Bajaj have edited different genres of
film which  require totally different
styles of editing. Each has its own, very specific, demands, needs and
requirement. She as an editor understands these and the requisite pace, emotion
and structure of each genre.

Every genre has its own way to cut and
importance of elements. For example Timing is very important in comedy. Pacing
is vital in thrillers. Emotion is paramount in drama. Passion is key for love
stories. These are, however, generalisations. She cuts every film differently
according to its need.

SACRED
GAMES (TV SERIES)

Sacred Games is an Indian web
television thriller series based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006  novel of
the same name, it is also the first Netflix original from India.

The Scene from the last episode of Sacred
Games is the Sartaj Singh, in his pursuit, is caught and tied right in front of
the mysterious man, who is now revealed to be a key player of the upcoming
attack.

The scene starts with an
establishing shot and then cutting between the two people and showing the
actions taking place and also cut to the reaction of Sartaj singh is to be in
the frame.

ROCKSTAR

The Rockstar is a 2011
Indian musical romantic drama film directed by Imtiaz Ali.
The scene from the beginning of the movie which is a song sequence and shows
the bits of the storyline and also according to me the song is shown as a
montage to show passage of time and the changes which will take place in the
movie accordingly.

The way song is edited with the connection of how he from auditioning in college and goes upto being a loved Rockstar. The theme is basically revealed in beginning sequence which entact the audience. 

(Tabinda is currently pursuing MA in Mass Communication from AJKMCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia.)