After a gap of 19 years, Chaitanya Tamhane's The Disciple has become the first Indian film, after The Monsoon Wedding (in 2001) to play at the Venice Film Festival.
Executive produced by Alfonso Cuaron, the musical drama talks about a young man's quest to becoming a classical vocalist and stars Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, and Kiran Yadnyopavit.
Chaitanya Tamhane, whose 2014 feature-length directorial debut Court was India's official submission for the 88th Academy Awards, talked about how he was fascinated by the rich tradition of Indian classical music.
Set in Mumbai, The Disciple explores not just the world of Indian classical music, but also the battle between faith and practicality.
For all its ties to mythology, spirituality, and secret knowledge, the key operative for most of this music’s practitioners is faith. Faith pushes them to dedicate their entire lives to mastering this complex art form. But then, life happens. The story emerged from my exploration of these themes. Though set in the chaos of hyper-modernised Mumbai, I find its central conflict universal in its essence. We all have the right to life, and no option but to adapt and survive.
- Chaitanya Tamhane
The Disciple has already been earning rave reviews and is also the official selection for TIFF.
From Venice, the captivating story of an Indian classical musician coming to terms with his lack of talent. THE DISCIPLE, from the director of THE COURT, next travels to TIFF and NYFF. A true cinematic feat: https://t.co/dYVAW4vrsA via @indiewire— erickohn (@erickohn) September 4, 2020
Mildly but pleasantly surprised that Chaitanya Tamhane's "The Disciple" is now odds on favorite to win the Golden Lion at Venice.— Shashank R (@shashankr025) August 28, 2020
His first film, "Court", was an unflinching look at the often absurd Indian legal system, and a must-see. https://t.co/2Wt6fFVfxs
'The Disciple' Venice review: An immersive exploration of Indian classical music - and one man's quest to become a master. #Venezia77 #BiennaleCinema2020 https://t.co/0EexTdj5ad pic.twitter.com/zzPO0psm3S— Screen International (@Screendaily) September 4, 2020
You can watch the film's trailer here:
Truly, art always transcends boundaries.