Music Teacher Review: It Re Makes You Pine For A Filmmaking Teacher

Music Teacher(Netflix)

Starring Manav Kaul, Divya Dutta, Amrita Bagchi, Neena  Gupta

 Directed  by Sarthak Dasgupta

Rating: **(2 stars)

 Not all that looks somber subdued  and layered at the  top is  what  it seems. Sometimes  you peel   the layers,and what do you get? A yawning nothingness.

Watching this vacuous film I felt  terribly betrayed  by the  sheer pretentiousness and  amateurishness of material that,outwardly, seems promising. A  music  teachers lost in the bewildering beauty of  scenic  serene  still and  stunning Simla, pines to get back the  life that he  once dreamt  of ,  but never  achieved.

 This  could have been that film about big dreamers from the  mountainous anonymity which we  have all been waiting for. Specially since the  very accomplished  Manav Kaul plays  the  musician  Beni Madhav Singh. SadlyKaul is saddled with a role of a man on a constant losing  streak who does nothing to  stop his freefall  except complain, scowl, lash out at everyone,  from his best friend to his  mother, and sing R D Burman songs in solitude.

Having Kaul’s  music-an  character  crooning Burman’s Rimjhim gire sawan and Phir wohi raat hai definitely makes us  worry about his lack of  ambition. Nextdoor neighbour Geeta(Divya Dutta)  is impressed , though. Impressed enough to invite Beni home and seduce him in the absence  of  her husband who we  are told , has deserted her.

Okay even if the  husband has  bolted  she can at least  bolt the  door before making  out with her  neighbour?

Divya amd  Manav’s  intimacy doesn’t grow. It pounces  on  us  out of nowhere. It scares  the hell out of her old father who  dies soon  after. Luckily I survived  to see  the  rest  of this terribly trite and dithering  drama   about  the diffident  music teacher’s  growing attraction for his  nubile  prized  student Jyotsna(Amrita Bagchi) who shows scant  regard for any  musical knowledge  and  spends  most of the  time teasing her teacher  into an exasperated state of  dormant seduction .

 But  of course  they must part, as she  becomes an overnight sensation after singing a semi-classical song  watched by glazed  denizens  who  stare at her  like a star  was  about to be born(Lady Gaga would say, ‘Ga.. Ga’) while  her smitten  guru eggs on  backstage as  if he was Bradley Cooper. Or maybe Aditya Roy Kapoor in Aashiqui 2.

 It’s all extremely  silly and  pointless.  One feels no sense of empathy  for Manav Kaul’s  character  who is not just ambition-less and  spineless  but also  clueless. Kaul and Divya Dutta try hard  to  infuse some gravitas into their hazy parts. Some  of the other  performances  are clearly amateurish and theatrical. Even Neena  Gupta who has lately  reclaimed her  mojo, is reduced to playing a   hammy mother  who spends all her screen time wondering when her musician son  would get married.

 But really, who cares?

Neena  at one point says,  “If once you sing out of tune it doesn’t mean you give up singing.”

I wonder if  the same  applies to a film that gets so  horribly  derailed.

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