The Disciple. 2020. India. Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane. In Marathi, Bengali, Hindi, English; English subtitles. 127 min.
Mastering Hindustani music, the classical style of north India, demands a consummate devotion to performance technique, the music’s spiritual dimension, and the intricate guru-disciple relationship. Spanning more than a dozen years, Chaitanya Tamhane’s gently observed portrait of a vocalist offers glimpses into a lifetime of trials and tribulations endured for the love of an art form. The wondrous camerawork reaches a perfect harmony with the hypnotic, continuous drone of the tanpura, a plucked string instrument that often accompanies vocalists, creating an immersive experience of timeless beauty.