We met for totally different purpose. And, I concluded the meeting by asking him to recommend me his best film from his country. His grinning was obvious because it was, for him, something unexpected that came out of my mouth. In the piece of paper I had placed before him, he wrote- ‘Man Bites Dog.’ For me this film was really groundbreaking yet SO SIMPLE in its making. Kathaa is such one Nepali Language Film.
Of course there was an anticipation, but more than it, there was an actual need of a Nepali Language Film which would really be simple, cinematic, honest and most importantly beautiful. Kathaa has this everything finally. I’ve seen very few of Nepali films which I’ve appreciated for their attempt to goodness, but I had never loved them from the heart. This time I did.
In Nepali films’ context, Kathaa is a real offbeat. It has disregarded the usage of texts. Dialogue, which has always been used as one of fundamental weapons to move ahead the narrative, has been minimized. The film makes it clear that filmmaking profession, besides textual power, is also one’s strong intuition for human emotions, color and sound.
It’s an experimental film and the director and the photographer must be applauded for making minimal use of artificial lights. Minimal use of lights gives a feel of lives the film is trying to depict. Photography is like a beautiful canvas. Filmmakers have taken risk, and now here they are, with something original. I didn't have any problem with the background score. It well synced with the visual. For me, Kathaa is a rich example to aspiring filmmakers.
Despite the foggy ambience of the film, uses of colors stand out as strong aesthetics of the film. Local livelihood has come out original. Use of local characters has localized the story. Saugat Malla is again exceptional. Usha Rajak surprised me because I had seen her only in Kusume Rumal-II and I didn’t dare to watch Eku. And, Timothy Rai is a real find.
The storyline is very simple. Simplicity is amazingly beautiful most of the times. The story is really visual and all class of audiences can comprehend the beauty of this film. This film time and again reminded me of Devkota’s famous Muna Madan. The main plot coincided- please don’t think I’m accusing... it’s just that it reminded me of that famed tragic tale. This Sikkimish versioned Kumari- Kaancha did work best for me. The ending was bit lengthy. The last feel_good_scene where both principal protagonists share verbal words didn’t work for me. I didn’t feel good this time. ;-)
Our fascination and thirst for Iranian genre cinemas will somehow be quenched by this experimental work. Director and the mastermind Prashant Rashaily deserves a huge applaud for this notable creation.
Photo Source: Kathaa FaceBook Page
March 22, 2013.