Had it not been for ‘ Sano Sansar’ this summer’s box office hit film, most urban youngsters would have found it difficult to recall the last Nepali movie they watched with so much enthusiasm. They readily agree to watch Hindi and English films over our Nepali films on any given day. After all, where would Nepali films stand in comparison to films like Titanic and Harry Potters series. The appeal factor is equally negligible in our Nepali film stars for their very youngsters who are so used to steamy scenes of Brangelina in Hollyhood films. Except for a few films, Nepali Film Industry has not produced movies that have been remarkable in any aspect be it in technicality or content. The once sought after industry seems to have been stagnant since the last decade.
Inspite of being surrounded by Nepali film haters, I decided to watch a Nepali movie last week. “Mr Don” read the movie posters. The name just didn’t feel right in Nepali fonts. Nepali film makers seriously have run out of names i guess.
It was after 8 years, I bought a ticked to see how much progress our Nepali actors had made. Tickets were priced at mere 15 and 20 rupees.. Don’t get surprised by the cost of the ticket because I didn’t go to Kumari or Guna cinema Hall where the ticket price exceed Rs 100. I went to “ Subhakaman Hall ” in Banepa. Surprisingly the cinema hall was indeed accommodated within a room. So no balconies or dress circle seats here but I when I entered the hall, there was no such arrangements. As I entered the hall, I was almost blinded by the bright color of the projector screen standing only 10 meter away. The screen was slightly smaller than that of C.V Raman Auditorium in Kathmandu University. Most of the seats were in miserable condition with some missing arms and torn covers.But thanks to the flickering light of the screen that helped me find my seat amidst semi darkness.
Mean while clips of upcoming movie “ Ma Timi Bina Marihalchu” was being screened and my seat was still out of sight. But I could see viewers behind me raising their head left and right just so that they wouldn’t miss a single scene of their favorite hero Bhuvan Kc carrying rocket launcher. This made me smile for a while.
As I moved forward to search my seat, a young guy stepped ahead of me. I could notice his long-straight hair combed with a middle partition and had earrings only on one side. More than that I was irritated with his titanic handerchief wrapped around his nect partiality hiding his face. Boasting with full authority which I could sense through the reflection of his doomed attitude, he asked for the ticket. I felt sudden spasm inside my mouth and without throwing a single word, I layed my palm open with ticket before him. I felt helpless for a while. Showing his dim-lighted torch toward left side, he signaled me to gear my leg ahead and manage seat.
He didn’t care to check the seat number mentioned in the ticked, however later I discovered neither of the any seats had number.After taking my seat, my long awaited venture started. My major focus was fixed on the audience at the side, back, front and ofcourse those suckers standing at the exits. If not all, people in the hi-fi cinema halls of Ktm show some theatre etiquette by shutting their mouth during most part of the movies. And of course, a movie experience seems incomplete without pop-corns for these hi-fi hall crowd. But here food was the last thing they’d consider.
I sensed their keen interest toward audience sitting beside them. As some furious dialogue strikes their ear or some violent scene widens their eyes, they stare at one another and share their reactions. I thought it was the best way to feel the real taste of Nepali movie. Continuous whistling was a common occurring there.
My inspection was going on and after one hour of watching hustling and bustling scenes, it was interval.
AT interval, the light was turned on, the exit doors were opened for a while. I was amazed to see the condition of viewers. More than 60 percent were children below 10 years struggling to manage two in one seat. I could clearly sketch their hunger for twist in the story of the movie (Before the interval, the central character’s family was killed by the villain and the revenge was about to take ) . Most of those children had their nails glued onto their teeth and their innocent eyes seemed fixed on the screen ahead. As I was capturing those facial radiations at the front row-seats filled up with children some body behind me started playing some Hindi numbers. It was irritating but then just decided to bear with the irritation.
Let me share my understanding of the movie I saw. A dance sequence was picturised on a song that had this line “ Jindagi huncha kaile aago kaile pani ” (life sometime fire and sometime water). A big fire came in the picture when the lyrics stopped at the word “fire” and the scene of big pond when the lyrics stopped at the word “water”. I am quite confident that the presence of scenes of big wood burning and the large pool of water has nothing to do with the romantic flow of the song. The actor and actress were moving with flow of the song and certainly the scene of that fire and water appeared from nowhere.
Anyways, after the tiresome patience of 2 and 35 minutes, the movie ended. I saw the audience were not ready to leave their seat until “the end” with big letters appeared on the screen.Such was my experience of watching a typical Nepali movie, that also in a small, ill facilitated cinema hall.
My central point of compiling my experience into this writing is to urge all Nepali to contribute to Nepali films. It doesn’t matter whether we are viewers, film makers or actors, though my concern is inclined toward more towards audience, especially the bunch of students like us. After the expansion of internet network at most of our country, we are easily exposed to Hollywood movies which are apparently much better than our native one. Better in the sense, they have catchy scenes, veteran artist, incredible directorship and ofcourse with heavy investment.
Talking about ku students, to watch movie, there is only one requirement, pendrive of atleast 1 gigabyte. Latest Movies with best print quality occupying only 700 Megabytes, can be easily available from KU Boys Hostel. Because in hostel there are some stupid genius who download movies and make available to all even they may not be found in the DVD stores Computer Bazaar, Mahaboudha.
Let me go back to the time when I was inside the hall watching “Mr Don”, I saw most of those villagers, old couple probably from poor economic background staring blankly at each scene of the movie. I noticed their full understanding of the dialogues while this reminded me of one of my fellas who almost always mock Nepali films.
They were easily accepting the acting, so they were watching the movie without prejudices. It is we who call ourself educated, civilized ones and always curse Nepali movie without even watching their single glimpse. Isn’t it so ironical that we are not even giving our minimum time to our own native productions. We ought to watch them first to compare and complain and finally give “baal”.
I think everything changes at its own pace. Changes are only valid and positive when they germinate from root level. The group of Nepali audience (you don’t belong to this group. Or do you? Have you ever watched or appreciated nepali movie?) who hail from village and poor economic and social background or illetrate group actually exist in great number. For instance, I am a university student and I don’t like to watch nepali movie (because I do not lack best list of English movies in my pc) then one should understand that there are atleast 25 people equivalent to me who enjoy nepali movie. Now you can imagine the huge figure of Nepali audience who contribute directly to survial of our Nepali Film industry inspite of so much critics and frustrations being imposed by the bunch of so called educated fellas. (most of you might belong to this group)
We people are really deviating from the truth. We expect, expect and just expect. We just complain, curse and pull back other. Our mind has been infected with negative ideas and self-directed pessimistic vision only. Without even inspecting seriously at our native production, we jump to reckless conclusions. That’s not our right and not right for us.
My humble appeal to everybody, “ please give some of your glimpses to the brilliant work of our actors’. What more can I say ? Nikhil Uprety is not so bad yaar. And Arunima Lamsaal’s angelic smile really deserves some compliments.
Media Studies,2nd year
"Mr Don" was not so bad
By Aakar Anil December 28, 2008