Director: Mahesh Dattani
Producer: K Raghavendra Rao
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Perizaad Zorabian, Prakash Rao, Lilette Dubey
Music: Amit Heri, Mani Sharma
MORNING RAGA tells the story of Swarnlata [Shabana Azmi], a gifted Carnatic vocalist, whose ambition of performing in the city gets aborted due to a ghastly accident on her village bridge, in which she loses her only child as well as her dear friend, who plays the violin. Swarnlata holds herself responsible for the tragedy and now spends her time in a self-imposed exile, never daring to cross the bridge. Twenty years later, her friend's grown up son Abhinay [Prakash Rao] returns to her life. Abhinay wants to start a music band. Priyanka/Pinky [Perizaad Zorabian], a city-bred girl, finds herself drawn to the same village since she is also affected by the tragedy: Her father, driving in an inebriated state, was responsible for the accident. Abhinay and Priyanka start a music group and request Swarnlata to sing for their band. She turns down the offer initially, but relents subsequently. The film has a very simple story and the execution of the important scenes are done superbly. Sequences like Shabana Azmi daring to cross the bridge for the first time after twenty years is brilliant. The director gets full credit for handling the story of the film delicately and with sincerety. Performance wise Shabana Azmi is excellent and the film belongs to her completely. Prakash Rao is a revelation. The actor matches up to Shabana and does a first-rate job. Perizaad Zorabian is another performer who catches the eye. Lillete Dubey is good as usual. On the whole Morning Raga is a nice touching movie but the truth is that its an art film which do not cater to the target audience and there the film might suffer.