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Chaitanya Tamhane’s new film intricately weaves diverse threads. It talks of the state of Hindustani Classical music and its ‘Guru-Shishya parampara’. There is an adequate reference to the blatant commercializing of music, as well as how myths are created around icons in the world of art. Importantly, in a sublime final scene, the film leaves a lingering question. What really is the mark of purity in art — does it lie in rigorous learning, or is it about a simplistic rendition that communicates to all with sincerity?
Tamhane’s new film, which boasts of Oscar-winner Afonso Cuaronl as an executive producer, is exceptional for the way it reiterates the value of the musical as a cinematic genre. Richly laced with remarkable classical recitals, the narrative uses its music quotient to do more than merely move the story forward. Here, music is a character in the plot.
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“The Disciple” marks Tamhane’s return to direction after his globally acclaimed 2014 debut directorial feature “Court”. While his new film has a similar nuanced portrayal of characters and a keen introspection of reality, the varied plot lends to a different approach in storytelling. “Court” unfolded as caustic satire, using an unflinching gaze at judiciary and caste discrimination. While the film conveyed quiet anger over societal imbalance and corruption in the system, Tamhane’s new effort looks within, into the protagonist’s psyche in search of angst. “The Disciple” is a difficult coming-of-age saga, tracing a journey from youth to resignation, and encompassing elements of doubt and confusion in its wake.
Tamhane’s triumph here is not just about brilliant writing and execution. A large part of the authenticity is because of the perfect casting. The protagonist Sharad Nerulkar is essayed by Aditya Modak, a trained classical singer. As Sharad’s guru Pandit Vinayak Pradhan, Tamhane casts Arun Dravid, a classical exponent, and Kishori Amonkar’s disciple.
The film traces Sharad’s story through three phases of his life. The narrative begins in his twenties, and shifts time frames between his past as a child, with a focus on his father who was also a classical singer. There is also Sharad of the late thirties and beyond.
Sharad of the mid-twenties is devoted to his pursuit of excellence. He fails to win at a classical music competition somewhere around the start of the story and accepts with fact betraying no sadness. It is a temperament he maintains through much of what unfolds. Sharad’s anguish is more private — he is racked by a streak of self-doubt that, among other things, often hampers his ability to perform on stage. Much later, he is plagued by a sense of confusion and disillusionment when he realizes certain truths about ideals.
An important aspect of the story is Sharad’s relationship with his guru, Pandit Vinayak. Sharad worships Vinayak who, in turn, was a disciple of his mother, or Maai. We never see Maai in the narrative, but Sharad’s silent deifying of his mother is conveyed in the narrative by the way he values the audiotapes she left behind, of lectures on music and the musician’s code (voiced impressively by Sumitra Bhave).
“The Disciple” celebrates the craft of filmmaking as few films do. It is a harmony of cinematic excellence in every department. Tamhane’s vision as a writer, director, and editor is brought to life by the entire cast, and also gets exquisite expression in the cinematography of Michal Sobocinski and the efforts of the music team, led by Aneesh Pradhan and Naren Chandavarkar. The film demands your interest if you truly value the aesthetics of cinema. (IANS/KB)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)