Dhrupad (1982)

Mani Kaul came to the cinema rather late in life, because he had eyesight problems as a child. He was already thirteen when the doctors found a cure. It was then that he discovered the world and choose to gave his life to cinema.
Its Dhrupad' explores an exquisite form of Indian classical music, dating from the 15th century and possessed of a mesmerizing intricacy. The film isn't so much a documentary as it is an exploration: every shot with immense love and care for tone, texture and colour, it is a landmark film.
Featuriing two famous masters, the Dagar brothers of Dhrupad school, this film is truly a pioneering work in the sense that nothing quite like this had been attempted before. It not only captures for us, and posterity, the magical quality of the two great masters' voices, but provides a valuable clue to the evolution of their art with its beginning in tribal music.

Dhrupad observes the musicians as they sit atop a beautiful mountain fortress and perform. As the camera traces the curves of the architecture and examines the landscape around them, and with a narrator's occasional commentary, this music casts its spell.
Mani Kaul puts forth the argument that tribal music had two aspects: one concerned itself with ritualistic hymns and the other related to changing seasons, as also birth, marriage, death, etc. While the folk music stayed in the villages, the ritualistic music evolved into classical music and moved to the courts.

1 comment:

nitesh said...

Great blog and even greater to bump into Mani Kaul here.