Tansener Tanpura: Indian classical music saves the day

Samarpita Das -

Tansener Tanpura: Indian classical music saves the day
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Format: Web Series
Platform: Hoichoi
Movie Rated: 16+
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Language: Bengali
Digital Premiere Date: 26 June 2020

 

What is the story about?
Shruti Misra and Alap Mitra are two Kolkata living, college-going folks who visit Anandagarh to explore a journey untold by history. Shruti’s grandfather used to be a classical singer who received the great Tansen’s Tanpura from an emperor. On knowing this Alap remains extremely eager to receive a talim from Shruti’s mother, who is also a lover of Indian classical ragas, and music. Much like her Shruti’s grandfather, her mother also is a professional classical singer.

Performances
The cast includes the likes of both experienced and non-experienced actors such as Vikram Chatterjee, Rupsha Chatterjee, Jayati Bhatia, Rajat Ganguly, Debesh Roychowdhury, Sujan Mukherjee, Subhashish Mukherjee, Bhaskar Banerjee, Sourav Saha, Kalyan Chatterjee, Surajit Bandopadhay, Angana Roy, Anuradha Mukherjee, Satyam Bhattacharya, Suhorto Mukherjee, Saunak Samanta, Goutam Siddhartha, Pradip Dhar, Pradip Bhattacharya, Soumyadip Banerjee, Rupam Chotu, Soumitra Banerjee, Goutam Saha, Anirban Paria, Jagannath Chakraborty.

While some of them have given significant effort to lessen the melodrama and bring in reality to the script, others have missed the point. The younger actors Vikram and Rupsha who lead the series for 10 episodes appear quite casual, but when they are in conversation with the veteran actors, you can almost sense a difference in their aesthetics, style, delivery of dialogue. However, Rupsha slightly takes us away with her journey when the scene cuts to the flashback phases when she would learn classical music from her grandfather. Even if you haven’t had an intimate moment with your grandparents there’s the realistic sense of resonance, that happens mainly due to the subtraction of melodrama.

 

Analysis
The plot and the narration are intertwined with various sequences that pendulums from being boring to interesting and somewhere leaves you scattered with your emotions. Colour plays a subtle yet vital role in the editing of the film. The screen goes to a flashback mode and when it depicts the present times it appears to be tighter. It was difficult to conclude if this change played a significance in the cinematic sequences, or if it was an unconscious mistake that went unnoticed.

While the shoot sequences in Anandagarh seemed to be well connected, there was nothing relatable about the sequences in Kolkata even to someone who was born and brought up in the city. The series missed its basic essence while capturing shots in the city. Calcutta may be slow-paced but the city has changed from 2016 to 2020 yet there was nothing relatable about the city while reflecting contemporary times. The city seemed more taken from fables than reality.

 

Music and other departments
The classical music, the qawwali, the Bengali numbers somehow bring in the essence of India, that was once highlighted by figures such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Zakir Hussain. You cannot exactly call them Bollywood, yet it was their contribution where India gained a cultural significance in the international platform.

The background score is the spine of the film that brings out the central theme of the series, thriller. However, although there’s occasional screaming it doesn’t arouse fear even if you choose to stay inside a dark room and watch it at midnight.

Directorially, it was strange how the lead characters were able to crack the code on listening to the music. In a way, it was an unravelling of a diegetic sequence, where characters and the audience are both aware of music being played and leading to the next game sequence.

Drawbacks
A certain disappointment occurs when Kolkata fails to get the recognition it deserves, even if it is for a short period of time. There was nothing about Kolkata which was relatable.

Did I enjoy it?
Indian classical music is naturally esoteric in nature. It is difficult to understand the beauty in its beats unless you grow up with music and mother nature simultaneously. One of the reasons I was able to enjoy it was because of the Indian classical beats.

Do I recommend it?
There are mistakes but that is something common between newcomers in all kinds of profession.

 

Synopsis : Tansener Tanpura, the upcoming Bengali web series from hoichoi releasing soon.
Cast : Debshankar Haldar, Rajat Ganguly, Neel Mukherjee, Debesh Roy Chowdhury, Surajit Banerjee, Pushpita Mukherjee, Jayati Bhatia,Vikram Chatterjee
Directors : Sougata Bose
Production House : Hoichoi
Total number of seasons : 1
Digital Premiere Date : June 26, 2020

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