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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Looks at powerful negative force of regret and the inability to move forward after mistakes are made. Promotes: finding resolution, steadfastly pursuing goals, being realistic about "perfection," and the importance of family.
Positive Role Models
Leading character, who is loyal, caring, generous, and talented, must overcome regret, anger, and past mistakes in order begin to lead an enriching life. In this particular area of Northern India, traditional male-female roles prevail. Men call the shots and women are subservient. In two instances, women try to change the custom.
Violence & Scariness
One strong slap. An elderly man dies; at his funeral his body is burned on pyre.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Couple is seen in bed after lovemaking.
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Products & Purchases
A few T-shirt logos.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking; one character gets tipsy and awakens with a hangover. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Music Teacher is a drama/love story, with music, from India. Using English subtitles translated from Hindi, the film is set in Shimla City, a provincial, family-oriented community in the Himalayan foothills, far from India's heavily-populated cities. Centering on regret, closing old doors, and opening new ones, the movie tells the tale of a music teacher who has given up on success and love because of missteps he made years earlier. It integrates current-day events with flashbacks from a young romance. Though the themes are mature, there's little worrisome material. One man slaps another. An elderly man dies quietly on screen; his funeral shows his burning funeral pyre. A couple kisses and is seen together in bed. There's social drinking; one man is tipsy, then hungover. Characters smoke cigarettes. While there is not much appeal for most kids, the movie is okay for teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though beautifully filmed and brimming with the vibrancy of Indian culture and music, the brooding hero's regrets and anger become tiresome -- a little on-camera self pity goes a long way. The filmmakers' notions about the importance of letting go of old hurts, of not being too quick to give up one's driving passion, and to find closure where none has existed, are sound, if not original.
In Music Teacher, however, the balance is off -- depressing wins out over what should, at heart, be romantic. And it's not the performances. The actors are uniformly solid. Kaul is particularly good, and Amrita Bagchi is talented, gorgeous, and charismatic. Himachal Pradesh, India is a location that American audiences have probably not seen before, and it's stunning. The film also serves to remind that even though male-female relationships have evolved, especially in progressive, cosmopolitan places, in some corners of the world men still drive the women's stories.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.