Qala, the latest Netflix original film from India, has been making waves for its captivating story of a mother-daughter duo of singers and their rivalry with a young prodigy. The film, directed by Anvita Dutt, stars Tripti Dimri, Babil Khan and Swastika Mukherjee in the lead roles. But is Qala based on a true story of a real singer? Here’s what we know.
Qala tells the story of Qala Manjushree (Tripti Dimri), a popular singer who is haunted by her past. She recalls how her mother Urmila Manjushree (Swastika Mukherjee), a legendary singer herself, was obsessed with making her a star in the male-dominated music industry of the 1940s. However, Urmila’s attention shifts to Jagan (Babil Khan), a young boy with an angelic voice who she discovers in a village. Urmila takes Jagan under her wing and neglects Qala’s talent, leading to jealousy and resentment between the two singers. Qala then takes a drastic step that results in Jagan losing his voice and eventually dying by suicide. Qala’s guilt and remorse catch up with her as she struggles to cope with her fame and fortune.
Qala True Story
No, Qala is not based on a true story. The film does not feature real-life characters and situations, although the plot may be inspired by “playback singers” that were around in the late 1930s and 40s. Playback singers are vocalists who record songs for movies and are not seen on screen. They were often exploited and overshadowed by actors and producers who took credit for their work. Some of the famous playback singers of that era include K.L. Saigal, Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali.
However, some viewers have noticed similarities between Babil Khan’s character Jagan and Master Madan, a child prodigy who was a ghazal singer in the 1930s. Master Madan rose to fame at the age of three and recorded only eight songs in his short life. He died at the age of 14 due to suspected mercury poisoning by a rival singer who was jealous of his popularity. However, this connection has not been confirmed by the filmmakers.
Qala is a visually stunning film that explores the themes of ambition, jealousy, betrayal and redemption. The film boasts of impressive performances by the lead actors, especially Tripti Dimri who portrays the complex emotions of Qala with grace and intensity. Babil Khan makes a promising debut as Jagan, while Swastika Mukherjee shines as the ambitious and manipulative Urmila. The film also features some melodious songs composed by Amit Trivedi that add to the mood and atmosphere of the story.
However, Qala also suffers from some flaws that prevent it from being a masterpiece. The film has a slow pace and a predictable plot that lacks suspense and surprise. The climax is weak and does not offer a satisfying resolution for the characters or the audience. The film also does not delve deep into the historical and social context of the music industry of that time and misses an opportunity to explore its nuances and challenges.
Qala is a film that has its moments of brilliance but also its shortcomings. It is not based on a true story but it may resonate with those who appreciate stories of human drama and musical passion.