Watch this classical music movie or forever live in darkness

It is surprising, or perhaps a comment on the current state of classical music, that my most penetrating classical experience in recent weeks came via Netflix. Chaitanya Tamhane's 2020 Marathi-language film The Disciple portrays the journey of a Khyal singer - played by musician turned actor Aditya Modak who is seen above - through the treacherous waters of commercialised art music. This exquisitely directed and musically very satisfying movie won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and also won the International Critics Prize. 

Some readers will doubtless be enraged that the 'classical music' referred to in my headline originates from the city of Gwalior in central India, and not from Symphony Hall Birmingham or Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie. But these myopists are missing the movie's powerful message that the virus of click bait has morphed into the highly transmissible and dangerous global variant of audience bait. And, incidentally, Norman; Aditya Modak is holding a tanpura. not a sitar.

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