Music School Review: Much-Needed Message But…
Music School tries hard to make a case — like 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par before — to let children follow their artistic passions and not try to fit them into pre-set moulds, to which people might nod their heads in agreement before packing their children off to coaching class, notes Deepa Gahlot.
Let kids be kids is the much-needed message that Papa Rao Biyyala’s film Music School conveys.
Parents push their own ambitions on to their children, and in forcing them to join the rat race, rob them of their childhood.
In a Hyderabad school where the drama teacher Manoj (Sharman Joshi) is exasperated because kids keep dropping out of his productions to concentrate on studies, there arrives a music teacher Mary (Shriya Saran), who has even less success with getting students to learn music.
Manoj suggests they give up hitting their heads against the bureaucracy of the formal education system and start a music school in their apartment complex.
When they muster up enough kids with relatively enlightened parents who understand the importance of the arts, they plan to put up a production of The Sound Of Music.
The witch of the building is a mother (Mona Ambegaonkar), who won’t allow her son to do anything but pore over books till he gets into IIT.
In such a scenario, the grandmother (Leela Samson) of the teenaged Samyukta (Gracy Gowsami) suggests they go to Goa for three weeks to rehearse.
They land up at the palatial home of MarY’s parents (Suhasini Mulay-Benjamin Gilani) for an endless picnic, punctuated by songs from The Sound Of Music. (What was Mary from what she calls ‘the city of the music’ (sic) doing in Hyderabad anyway?)
Samyukta falls for the Nepali watchman’s football-playing son Rinchin Thapa (Ozu Barua, film-maker Jahnu Barua’S son), who plays Rolf to her Liesl (they get to do a lovely rendition of You Are 16 on stage later in the film), which leads to much nose-flaring by her angry police commissioner father (Prakash Raj), who wants his daughter to become a doctor.
The chase that follows is not as dangerous or tense as the Von Trapp family escaping from the Nazis, but it is a clever touch — the film’s plot converging with that of the musical — but Biyyala cannot quite pull it off.
He attempts the format of a Hollywood musical, with several scenes done in song-and-dance format. But without the requisite skill to pull it off, the film looks like a Doordarshan sitcom from the past.
The bunch of talented kids dance and prance around with energy, so much so that the adults look stodgy.
Singer Shaan, playing Mary’s ex-boyfriend, turns up to sing a Christmas song and gets his heart broken again. He is not too bad an actor though.
Ilayaaraja pitches in as music director, but his songs like IIT to MIT or Padhte Jao Bachcha, peppy though they are, pale in comparison with The Sound Of Music‘s evergreen numbers.
Biyyala has also cast good actors, but they have nothing challenging to do.
The film tries hard to make a case — like 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par before — to let children follow their artistic passions and not try to fit them into pre-set moulds, to which people might nod their heads in agreement before packing their children off to coaching class.
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