• Sunday, October 02, 2022


Chaitanya Tamhane on why The Disciple is so personal to him

Chaitanya Tamhane, Aditya Modak (Photo by Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images)

By: Murtuza Nullwala

By Murtuza Iqbal

Filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane impressed everyone with his directorial debut Court (2014). The Marathi film won multiple awards including Best Feature Film Award at 62nd National Film Awards. The movie was screened at many international film festivals and had also won awards there.

Now, Chaitanya’s second directorial The Disciple has been following the footsteps of Court. The Disciple was screened at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize presented by the International Federation of Film Critics and the Best Screenplay award.

It was even screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and there it won Amplify Voices Award. Now, the movie is all set to release on Netflix on 30th April 2021.

Recently, while talking to PTI, Tamhane revealed why The Disciple is so personal to him. He stated, “It’s the marriage of researching and finding nuances, contradictions, and complexities in this alien world of the Indian classical music, which I had no idea about, and marrying it to themes that are deeply personal to you, concerns that you have about yourself and the world and your own insecurities,”

“And then all of this is sort of transformed into an organic and, hopefully, living, breathing story, which you realise through the medium of cinema,” the filmmaker added.

Oscar-winning Roma director, Alfonso Cuaron, is the executive producer of the film, and while talking about him, Tamhane stated, “Let us just say he is extremely, extremely generous.”

The Disciple is about a guy named Sharad Nerulkar (actor-musician Aditya Modak), who diligently follows the traditions and discipline of the old masters, his guru, and his father, and devotes his life to becoming a Hindustani classical music vocalist.

When asked whether he believed in having a signature as an artist, Tamhane said, “It’s a complicated thing, sometimes directors buy into their own story of having a signature. I, personally, want to become one with the story.”

“I would like if I was like Alfonso, where you cannot make out that the same guy has made Children of Men or Y Tu Mama Tambien. I don’t know any other filmmaker who’s as versatile, as diverse. He’s like a chameleon. And what’s his signature; it’s just the mastery and the control of the form,” he added

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