Kagbeni: Watching a Digital Nepali Film

Kagbeni undoubtedly will be marked as the trend-setting Nepali film but it could have been much better if the culture, tradition and lives of Nepalese of Kagbeni and surrounding were depicted too. [Ironically, I also found most teenagers attracted to ‘Kagbeni’ only because of the rumored love scene between the two lead actors.]

Samyam WagleBy Samyam Waglé

Eye on Kollywood:
Kagbeni undoubtedly will be marked as the trend-setting Nepali film. Bored with the usual taste of traditional styled Kollywood, this movie gives unique taste. Dialogues are easy-informal type, setting is where none other Nepali films have been shot- in the lap of Dhaulagiri, windy and cold Kagbeni, Marpha and Shyang. The film is revolutionary in every sense- first digitalized film in Kollywood, first film of director Bhusan Dahal and first for actors too. Based on the English thriller “The Monkey’s Paw” of WW Jacobs, the moral hits the hardest “Be Careful on what you wish for”.

Upper class and intellectuals very rarely go to theaters to watch Nepali films and hardly anyone appreciates the screenplay or cast or plot but the case with this pioneer of Kollywood “Kagbeni” will be opposite that lower class and illiterates might not understand the literary aspect and find it boring and colossal waste of time! They will surely show disappointment after movie ends not knowing how it ended! No songs, no dance, unexpected plot and presentation, no glamour-they will surely ridicule this movie as are accustomed to fights of Rajesh Hamal, jumps of Nikhil Upreti and glamour or Rekha Thapa.

One aspect of this film is that it will also promote tourism. This movie will surely be attracting people from its marvelous cinematography of picturesque landscapes. The digital camera and expert style of capturing scene has done justice to natural beauty of this area and people of Kathmandu will find it fascinating as how contrasting is the life! Since this movie is also screened at abroad, it will definitely help for international tourism as well.

One fact is that movie could have been much better if the culture, tradition and lives of Nepalese of Kagbeni and surrounding were depicted too. This film doesn’t deal with those issues and is just focused on plots which are slow too. Film like “Caravan” was superb in terms of everything. They showed marvelous topography of Dolpa as well as good story. Other thing is that “Kagbeni” might have been more admired if it had chosen different story or screenplay set in same place. This adaptive thriller “The Monkey’s Paw” were nonsense to most. No one understood what the point was of showing Nima Rumba after 9 years and getting out from closed doors!

Ironically, I also found most teenagers attracted to this film only because of the rumored love scene between the two lead actors. The theater I visited was never so crowded even in this afternoon show for Nepali film. I was surprised to see such mass. But also heard the comments that back benchers were making that they were curious for the first ever on-screen Nepali lip-locked kiss scene! Most of the loathers were there to get excited to see the most bold love scene of Kollywood but only intellectuals know that there is no vulgarity at all in it.

Kagbeni will also be an example to other existing directors and producers who are always eager on glamour, sexiness and less conscious on plots and dialogues. Following the same pattern of violence, ridiculous heroism, fake and boring dialogues and plots, they fear on changing the pattern thinking people are used to it and they actually enjoy more fights and glamour than other contents that actually matter!

This is actually because of the class of Nepali audience that usually visits theaters for Nepali movies. It is actually the general masses who determine the success and failure of mainstream Nepali movies, and the middle and upper-middle class do not even consider watching commercial Nepali films. But it has already been proved that Kagbeni has been the exception because of the creative director and hard working crews who understood this new style of Kollywood.

It seems now time has come for us to be proud of our Nepali movies that are superb by international standards too. The other awaited film is “Sano Sansar” by this same Quest Entertainment which seems to touch on urban teenagers in modern way. Movies like these will go on winning our hearts now because they resemble us and we see our part in it. Look at the way how “Taare Zamin Par” was like mirror to our own childhood! If such qualitative movies will keep on coming then the days of this lousy traditional directors and actors are over.

Related blogs on WSJ

1. An Early Morning Show of a Nepali Movie
2. Watching a Nepali Movie: An Experience
3. Politics of Music Video in Nepali Television






71 responses to “Kagbeni: Watching a Digital Nepali Film”

  1. matt Avatar

    What the heck is going on with these guys????
    Everybody confused??? Like the characters of “Pagal Basti???”

  2. bibek Avatar

    Samyam Ji…your preditction about “Sano Sansar” came to be true and i like the way you predicted so many months ago…that it is a different film about teenagers and Kathmandu youths, which are rarely shown in our sucking films…
    So this one has won many hearts and is rocking Kathmandu city…this will also be able to create a new brand of films…its good…

  3. ferrabs Avatar

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  9. MaxWELL Avatar

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  11. Mikey Fritz Avatar

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  12. MAN Avatar

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  13. samuells Avatar

    Hmm. Good post.

  14. hang Avatar

    ve u guys ever thought of MAITI GHAR
    personally i think it’s the best from every aspect,(narratively, technically,story, dialouges,performance) a complete golden package . the nepali film industry has ever produced. i would say it as a CITIZEN KANE or THE THIRD MAN of nepali fim industry. if u guys ve ny idea wt am i talking about.
    ur thoughts on it plss.

  15. ??????? Avatar

    ????. ???????? ????? ? ?????. ???????? ??????? ????. ????????? ??????.

  16. jayaram karki Avatar
    jayaram karki

    I am a nepali citizen and i have already many movies before “kagbeni” all the flims are interesting but the flims seems odd .but a nepali flim kagbeni is totally a digital flim with a very good story .i would like to thank from my inner heart of the characters of the whole flim.A nepali flim must be like kagbeni be be success in bussiness and to be popular in the industry too. I am proud of muself with the invention of nepali flim kagbeni.

  17. mdintl08 Avatar

    I really love to try it out. This is something new

  18. karsang gurung Avatar
    karsang gurung

    hie guys i am from Kagbeni , Mustang and i truly didnt like the movie at all. It did not have any relation to my village , not only was the plot low the whole idea of using my village’s name without any contradictory or relations to the culture or the traditions of us Gurungs was low key standard. i was hoping the movie to be more like the documentary movies tht showed the the real life relevance to the people who lived in the area .. it was totally flop not only flop super duper flop, i would admire the cinematography of the movie..the output of the whole village scene was nice but i am really disappointed as a resident’s view and as a viewer i think it was not worth watching of the movie tickets i spent ..

  19. Rooz Avatar

    I think there are two types of movies: one for masses and other for the classes. By class I mean the people who admire movie in terms of the creativity, storyline, acting and screenplay. And masses usually enjoy masala flicks with action, song, dance and glamour. The technical and creative aspects are not at much play here.
    I have watched nepali movies in theatres but it was long back. I admired movies like samjhana, saino, dakshina. The storyline and presentation was very good. But movies there after are below par in terms of proper storyline, acting and technical issues. So even being commercially successful i see them critically pathetic.
    I just happened to see kagbeni. For me it brings change in nepali movie industry. It is more of a off track, parallel movie. Techinically, acting wise and direction wise the movie is superb. The storyline is not that impactful but we can still say that it has a story to tell and Mr. Dahal tells it superbly. I like the acting of all the three protagonists, esp Ms Maskey (watch the scene where she grieves for her son).
    I was glad to see a movie different to main stream nonsense commercial flicks. I am looking forward to seeing similar movies in the future. Great job all together!

  20. Kashi Raj Karki Avatar
    Kashi Raj Karki

    Good job Mr. Wagle. I am also doing my Thesis on the movie Kagbeni. If you have any opinions on Kagbeni please do contact me through my email.

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