Chaitanya Tamhane‘s The Disciple follows Sharad Nerulkar (Aditya Modak), a student of Hindustani classical music, who struggles to find a balance between his riyaaz and his job. Ahead of the film’s release on Netflix on April 30, executive producer Alfonso Cuaron talks about balancing art and commerce:
Anupama Chopra: Did you and Chaitanya ever talk about perhaps making the film more accessible? In the film, Sharad struggles to balance his purity of vision and the marketplace – did the two of you ever have conversations about that?
Alfonso Cuaron: I really believe that’s something that you cannot control, the whole idea of the marketplace. Unless that you do a product that is already packaged and I don’t think that is something Chaitanya and I are interested in. You never know. One of my biggest successes was a film that had all the odds of failure and that was supposedly not commercial. It ended up being more commercial than my other films. If you compare cost and profit, it made way more profit than my most economically successful film. So that is something you cannot consider, like Chaitanya says: You have to do what you are passionate about and go where your heart is. When you say things like, ‘I am going to do this to make it work,’ then you are not making it more accessible, you are cheating yourself and cheating the audience.