THE DISCIPLE (2020) Six years after the release of his debut directing a movie


 Screen width resounding through Court (2014) - are not only getting praise as well the recognition of many film critics the world but also successfully elected to represent India to compete in the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the arena of the 88 th Annual Academy Awards – director Chaitanya Tamhane is back with his latest film, The Disciple . Focusing on the characters who pursue traditional Indian music in their lives, the story script written by Tamhane and worked on since 2015 caught the attention of director Alfonso Cuarón ( Roma, 2018) who later joined as executive producer for this film, helping Tamhane to develop story ideas from his directed film, as well as providing a number of inputs for the film's technical achievements. The results did not disappoint. Regardless of Cuarón's involvement, Tamhane clearly demonstrated his storytelling skills that felt so personal and strong in conveying every point of his story.

The Disciple tells the story of a 24-year-old young man named Sharad Nerulkar ( Aditya Modak ) who is currently studying at a senior musician known as Guruji ( Arun Dravid ) to make his dreams come true – and those of his late father ( Kiran Yadnyopavit).) – to become a reliable singer and musician of traditional Indian music. The path that Sharad Nerulkar has to walk is not easy. Unlike other types of music, traditional Indian music is often associated with deepening and spiritual attainment that must be passed by those who want to pursue it. By his father and teacher, Sharad Nerulkar also gets the emphasis that traditional Indian music is a type of music that must be prioritized for its purity. Sharad Nerulkar tried to follow and obey every method of learning that was given to him but, after years of studying and prioritizing artistic achievement over survival, Sharad Nerulkar began to realize that he was not experiencing significant growth.

Like Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2013) and La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016), The Disciple also tells the story of the struggles of the soul of a musician who struggles to achieve artistic achievements in their work while constantly facing various problems that continue to exist. confront in everyday life. However, if the characters in Inside Llewyn Davis or La La Land face a dilemma that comes from the music industry, then Sharad Nerulkar's character in The Disciplemust participate in answering a number of challenges from the traditions that have been built from several generations that have been born before him. Tamhane builds his film into a character study about how Sharad Nerulkar's character constantly strives to improve his abilities, fulfilling a series of criteria to be able to make him a credible musician, which makes him even willing to put aside his various personal needs – from getting a better job to being a woman. who can be his life partner.

This choice to tell stories in such a personal way makes Sharad Nerulkar feel like a very fragile character – trapped between the dream of becoming a reliable traditional music musician and then realizing that he doesn't have enough skills to fulfill that dream. Even so, Tamhane never knit the story of The Disciple into a sentimental presentation. The Disciplein fact, it is often felt that there is an emotional distance between the audience and the characters whose stories are being told. Still, the exploration of the slick storytelling of the main character still manages to keep Sharad Nerulkar as an attractive character to continue with the journey of the story. There are not many other conflicts that fill the story line of The Disciple which runs for 127 minutes because Tamhane chooses to provide a complete picture of the story for the main character of the film.

As a film that explores the lives of musicians, The Disciple is clearly colored by the presence of many songs originating from traditional Indian music. The narrative of this film also tries to dive into the thought of the "purity" of the artistic value of traditional Indian music - which can also be read and applied to various works of art in general - where many methods from the past have prevented this type of music from being enjoyed or studied by a wider audience. large. The hint about the preparation of a musician to live "alone and starving" in order to develop his artistic abilities is also a talking point that is quite straightforwardly conveyed by Tamhane in his film. The elements of the story that are presented are soft but so striking that are able to make The Discipleleft a deep impression on the audience.

As he did in Court , Tamhane filled his acting department with a lineup of actors with no previous acting experience. Tamhane chose Modak and Dravid to play Sharad Nerulkar and Guruji precisely because both of them are musicians of traditional Indian music in their daily life. However, make no mistake, thanks to the direction of Tamhane, Modak and Dravid were able to give soul as well as life to the two characters they played. Modak, in particular, can make the audience feel the various emotional upheavals of the struggle – from passion, enthusiasm, to the sense of disappointment – ​​that he feels in trying to achieve all of his hopes. Such an impressive performance for a very impressive film.

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