Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nepali Review

Starring: Bharath, Meera Jasmine, Prem

Direction: VZ Durai

Music: Srikanth Deva

Production: Rama Saravanan
‘Nepali, the name itself suggests that something different is on offer. But everything that is different need not always be interesting. In a way, Nepali has nothing new in terms of its basic plot. It’s the same boy meets girl, love at first sight, marriage, tragedy and revenge plot, but the script takes a slightly offbeat route.
Nepali is the story of a young man, Bharath, who does odd jobs in many places during the day but assumes a dangerously sadistic persona at times. It is as if he knows things that few others know, doing things for reasons that only he knows. His hands hold steady as he sends people to their death, often in the most grueling ways. The law is behind him. But one thing puzzles us: why is he dressed in such a peculiar manner- those pointed brows and small eyes. Is he from Nepal?

Nepali is also the story of another young man, played by Bharath again, who has to face bitter experiences that change him forever. To start with, Bharath is shown as a software engineer, young and happy and in love with a girl in Ooty, Meera Jasmine. Facing opposition from her family, the lovers have no option but to elope and marry. It is a happy and contented life in a world of their own –and it couldn’t get better. But the evil shadow of a police officer who has developed a desire for Meera Jasmine lurks over them. Desire becomes obsession and tragedy follows close behind.

Nepali tells the story of one other young man- Bharath again! who ends up in jail for a crime that he could not avoid committing. In jail he meets a man who holds many secrets that could knock down many big names in the city. In the dark shadows of the gallows, the secrets change hands while no one notices. The hunted man with secrets does not survive but leaves his unfinished tasks in the hands of the young man he met.

This is basically what Nepali is all about. You might be a bit confused, and that’s exactly how the script is - confusing. You might also think that there are many layers to the story but it is actually a simple linear story that has been convoluted back and forth to produce a movie that falls just short of being interesting. The film is set in three time periods and the script moves back and forth between then and now. This kind of narration can be interesting, but the talented director, V.Z. Dhorai (remember the excellent Mugavari?), somehow misfires. This see-sawing narrative movement only makes the movie lose momentum far too many times, always moving in fits and starts, never settling into a steady pace.