Chaitanya Tamhane made a name for himself in 2014 with his critically acclaimed directorial “The Court”. The film is a brilliant representation of the Indian Legal System. The film paved the way to the 88th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. So, the director’s latest directorial The Disciple, is something the people looked forward to. It went on to screen at the 77th Venice International Film Festival becoming the first film in 20 years to compete there. Then went on to bag the Best Screenplay Award. Furthermore, it almost made an official entry for the Oscars and several other notable film festivals as well.
The Disciple tells the story of an Indian Classical Musician following the rules of the art, hoping to achieve the excellence he thrives for. The film stars Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat and Kiran Yadnyopavit. Although the initial review from the audience states the movie to be boring. It’s a matter of perspective. So here we are breaking down our thoughts while watching the latest Chaitanya Tamhane directorial “The Disciple”.
The Disciple Plot Summary
The Disciple follows the story of Sharad Nerulkar. A devoted Indian Classical Singer adhering to the rules of the music by acknowledging the ways his gurus have told. The movie takes us to the journey of Sharad’s devotion, hardships, struggles, and hunger to achieve the excellence he intends to much like his gurus. But a time comes when the path questions Sharad himself whether it is worth it or not.
The Disciple divides itself from the rags to riches story of musicians and tells the story of the honest, hardworking musicians still looking for success. The ones you may find anywhere around you but couldn’t make big despite being excellent at what they do. Still looking to what they lack. Although the story narrates Sharad acknowledges the fact that a sacrifice is needed for the art he is devoted to. In the suburbs of Mumbai, this goal is something hard to achieve.
The Disciple Review
So coming to our thoughts about The Disciple. The movie is not the one if you are looking for an engaging storyline or fast-paced telling. Some of the audience might have dubbed it as boring, but in our watch it’s different. The Disciple serves as more of a journey through the eyes of the main character Sharad played by Aditya Modak. It is a slow-paced and quite natural feature that stays long enough to tell us the emotions Sharad is going through every now and then. Let it be singing a wrong note in a live show or facing hardships to live in an engaging city like Mumbai, or watching a musician making it big in singing reality shows.
We can literally feel Sharad’s anger, frustration, insecurities, and questioning he faces with the ways. These emotions come out of some of the brilliant sequences that are panned into the character. There is a slow-motion scene once in a while when Sharad rides through the city at night. Also listening to the words of Maai, a highly-acclaimed Indian Classical Musician who states doesn’t sing for fame, audience, or praise but only for herself and god. The scene reflects kind of the entire point Sharad is focusing on. The sacrifice Sharad is willing for in order to achieve the excellence he thrives. But the movie questions, is it worth it?
The movie also reflects a music Industry away from the commercial area of the same art form. The one which egoistically stays away from the world of a simple art form that solely looks forward to huge commercial success. This in turn is portrayed in the movie when Sharad sees a musician paving his way into a singing reality show winning. This environment passes on into the movie several times questioning Sharad the way he wants. At one side he sees the reality show contestant winning fame and for him just performing with a handful of audience now.
The Disciple is one way of telling the fall of Sharad. He who gives his level best at becoming an acclaimed musician. Still haunted by mediocrity and fear of failure now and then. There is a struggle we see inside the character. The one on whether he should follow the old ways his gurus taught or live the life the way others are doing. In turn, ignoring the sacrifice leading to the happy life he always wanted.