Qala (2022) Plot Synopsis
Anvita Dutt’s period musical drama “Qala”, is a musically rich psychological horror, set during the pre-independence period. It paints a moving picture that revolves around Qala, a young, gorgeous, gifted vocalist who ventures into playback singing and finds fame. Sadly, though, underneath all the glitz, reverence, and honors, she is consumed by her desire to succeed, tormented by her past, and is fervently seeking approval from her estranged mother. Qala soon begins to let her mind dominate as she struggles with the demands of the movie industry.
As a consequence, Qala begins to despise her inner reality and sinks into a void. She is bothered by the rumbling in her soul. It is a heartbreaking condition, and Anvitaa does indeed have a crew in Amit Trivedi and a number of today’s best lyricists—including Amitabh Bhattacharya to put words to the turmoil causing mayhem in Qala’s psyche.
What is the inspiration behind the movie?
Anvita Dutt Guptan, the filmmaker, penned the original tale from which the movie was based. Anvita got the idea after having an intriguing discussion with an iconic music composer named Vishal Dadlani. During an appearance, the director talked about this and said that she wanted to create a movie depicting mother-daughter bonds because parents are essential in forming a person’s perspective.
Vishal and she began discussing the captivating singers from the 1930’s and 40’s, emphasizing how the melodies had been an important component of their songs as she started experimenting with the concept. This gave Anvita the inspiration to combine the two ideas and write a novel about a musician in the 1940’s and the tense relationship with her mother.
Anvita went into greater detail about her decision to make the mother-daughter connection the movie’s key motif in a different interview. She claims that there aren’t many tales of this relationship or of how someone’s inner tensions and emotional difficulties control their lives.
Anvita’s primary goal in making this movie was to exemplify how girls frequently turn to their mothers for external validation when they are feeling inadequate or self-conscious. In the movie, Qala similarly experiences this kind of psychological need, which is significantly impacted by her precarious relationship with her dismissive mother.
What position does Qala hold in the present timeline?
Qala Manjushree, a well-known playback musician in 1940s India, receives a Golden Vinyl, the nation’s highest musical honor. Despite having a successful career and achievements, she is unhappy from the inside. Nobody is aware of the fact that Qala is plagued by a man’s spirit who feels she destroyed his life. This prompts her to think back on her backstory, and the viewers are taken through her teenage years as a result.
What tragic events molded Qala’s personality?
Qala’s mom, Urmila Manjushree, never showered her with any kind of love and care despite her birth into a renowned family from Himachal Pradesh. Furthermore, she accuses her for the demise of her twin brother who passed away during childbirth. As a result, she is indifferent towards her child throughout her childhood. Therefore, Urmila never polishes Qala’s singing style properly and criticizes her for small errors.
Once Jagan, an orphaned young musician nurtured in a gurdwara (a temple), is brought to the mother and child, things get even worse. His vocal talent immediately appeals to Urmila, who keeps him under her care and leaves her daughter feeling ignored. Qala begins to feel envious of Jagan as her mom trains him to be the next musical star, replacing her.
Qala also makes special efforts just to get some appreciation from Urmila. However, the latter restricts her daughter from performing unaccompanied and pushes her to play a musical instrument and back her pupil.
Despite the fact that Qala sees Jagan as her competition, he sympathizes with her and motivates her to pursue her goals. Urmila presents him to a renowned playback musician Chandan Sanyal while they are in Calcutta, and Qala realizes that she has been wooing him to help her pupil get an opportunity in the movie industry.
The teenage girl then repeats the behavior with a renowned composer Samanta Kumar in an effort to win his favor and land a recording contract. Qala’s family is suddenly struck by an unimaginable catastrophe, and sadly Urmila holds Qala accountable and deserts her.
The young woman travels to Calcutta from her hometown in Debisthan, Himachal Pradesh, in order to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Sadly, Qala’s initial playback recording failed, which allows Samanta to take advantage of her weakness and sexually abuse her. This abuse develops into a routine as Samanta has power over her, while also pretending to advance the aspiring singer’s career. Fortunately, Majrooh, a lyricist, and Naseeban, a composer, become Qala’s companions and aid her in escaping his captivity.
What drives Qala to breaking point?
In the current timeline, the singer has made a name for herself as a talented vocalist whose melodies are included in almost every upcoming movie. Additionally, Majrooh, Naseeban, and Sudha, Qala’s secretary, are a group of admirers who stick up for her at every turn and assist her with her songs.
Sadly, Qala’s meeting with a now-unemployed Samanta leaves a lasting impression on her, and she begins to have additional glimpses of the haunting figure. She gradually begins to lose her grasp on reality as her tragic history abruptly comes back to haunt her. Qala acknowledges that perhaps there is no dodging her monsters as she clings to the final remnants of her sanity.
Who is the spirit, and why is it torturing Qala?
A spirit, who is originally thought to be a paranormal being, is shown to be constantly following Qala in the current timeline. Gradually, it becomes clear that the man she constantly encounters, tormenting her for robbing the life intended for him, is Jagan. Qala recalls the catastrophe that ultimately caused her relationship with her mother to collapse as she thinks back on her earlier years.
In Calcutta, during a music performance in the presence of notable members of the movie industry, Jagan unexpectedly loses consciousness and becomes ill. It’s interesting to observe that Qala steps in to perform after the young vocalist has to be taken off stage. A saddened Urmila tends to Jagan as they return to their snow-covered Debisthan mansion.
Oddly, no clinician can diagnose his illness, and as his fever grows over time, he gradually becomes weaker inside and out. As a consequence, Jagan is unable to sing, which has a detrimental effect on his mental health. He begins to distance himself from everybody despite Urmila and Samanta’s comforting words. Moreover, one evening he is seen sobbing in front of Qala. The next morning, Jagan disappears, and Qala discovers him lifeless, having hung himself out of sadness.
Despite blaming herself for his demise, she goes up to Samanta Kumar and accepts the music gig he had first offered Jagan. This creates a split between Qala and Urmila, who blames her for stealing the dead kid’s dreams in order to advance her profession. Years later, the girl is still feeling guilty about Jagan’s suicide while she is savoring the success she has achieved in Calcutta.
As a consequence, Qala regularly encounters his spirit, who speaks ill of her and accuses her of taking his place, driving her insane. His spirit represents her guilt over her alleged role in his voice loss, which resulted in his death. Although Qala doesn’t actually kill Jagan, she steals his voice and his dreams, gradually crushing him and driving him to commit suicide.
How does Jagan lose his singing voice?
There are strong indications that Qala might have caused Jagan’s underlying condition during his live performance. It is made clear that she is incredibly envious of him as he relishes everyone’s admiration.
Additionally, Qala’s trivial feelings are turned into something vengeful by Urmila’s criticism, so she poisons Jagan’s milk using mercury, which he then consumes before performing onstage. Mercury has some throat-related adverse effects that Urmila had previously discussed with her daughter; she now employs this approach to eliminate her opponent.
As a consequence of the clinicians’ inability to discover the mercury, Jagan started losing his voice as a result of his weakness. He breaks from the inside out and he eventually commits suicide. Jagan is hopeless, wounded, and unable to witness his ambition of being a singer fade away.
Does Qala earn her mother’s love and admiration?
Qala’s present-day insecurities cause her to relive previous regrets, prompting her to have hallucinations that chew at her consciousness. Everywhere she looks, she seems to see Jagan, and she discovers him hanging over and over again.
Qala tries to reach out to her mom for support as she continues to suffer with her mental stability, but she doesn’t reply since she’s furious with her. Qala tries to commit suicide by swallowing pearls out of misery, but Sudha intervenes just in time to stop her.
Urmila thinks her child may have hurt herself after having heard her murmuring about Jagan’s passing during a radio show. She hurries to Calcutta, expecting the very worst. When she arrives, the doctor warns about her child’s terrible condition and proposes to check her into a psychiatric facility.
Unexpectedly, Urmila is eager to take Qala home immediately since she wants to accept responsibility for her actions. She enters a room to discover her child hanging lifeless. Qala began having hallucinations of her snow-covered ancestral house where she received her mom’s blessings, while she was in a haze. Her desire to go home causes her to commit suicide like Jagan. Sadly, Qala receives her mother’s affection and acceptance only after leaving the mortal world.
Read More: Qala Movie Review