Sharad Nerulkar has devoted his life to becoming an Indian classical music vocalist, diligently following the traditions and discipline of old masters, his guru, and his father. But as years go by, Sharad starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for. A journey of devotion, passion, and searching for the absolute in contemporary Mumbai.
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User Reviews: There is a languid, dreamlike quality that persists in much of ‘The Disciple’, accentuated by the recurring use of ‘tanpura’ drone in the background and scenes of the protagonist riding his motorcycle through empty nighttime Mumbai in slow motion. They manage to reinforce a detached state of mind, both for the viewer and for the protagonist. Factually, the film may deal with a specific subgenre of Indian Classical vocal music (a subject I am not versed in, at all), but the observations made so acutely and the opinions expressed so eloquently have a tremendous universal relatability. And not just classical music, they hold true for any pure art form, be it pottery or printmaking. The film is overall a character study spanning three stages in the protagonist’s life as he fights hard to prevent himself from being engulfed by social obligations and invariable complications of urban living – like fame, sustainability, professional jealousy, ego – that go against the teachings of his old, reclusive mentor, who is a pure practitioner of the craft. Most efficiently written, acted, crafted, paced – a definitely wholesome film.