The titular 18th-century Indian painter receives a poetical film essay on his life and art in sophomore helmer Amit Dutta’s beautiful but homogenous “Nainsukh.” Rich with gorgeous images and shot in the actual locales in Jammu and Kashmir, this stately meditation uses the artist’s stunning naturalistic works as templates for re-created scenes whose static qualities, even when movement is involved, hold attention for only so long. Produced by Switzerland’s Museum Rietberg, pic is a work for galleries rather than cinemas, though fests with arty bents may show interest.
Influenced by the naturalism of Mughal craftsmen, Nainsukh (Manish Soni, himself a noted miniaturist) leaves his father’s celebrated painting workshop and becomes official artist for the Rajput princes of Jasrota. There he creates delicate works that record daily life at the sophisticated, spendthrift court. Dutta re-creates the refined Rajput world via limited compositions, many shot in the ruins of the Jasrota palace, whose use of space imitates the clarity and simplicity of the artist’s miniatures and drawings. It’s all lovely to look at, enhanced by eye-catching colors and exceptional sound design, but the unvarying tone and too-frequent text panels can become soporific.