The Cinema Times

Bisnu Sharma

Mine favorite French critics Jay Look Godard quotes- “A girl and a gun is sufficient to make a film.” Why do I need to borrow this quote is that there is a movie released in town titled “Mukhauta” which is all about a Girl and a Gun.

It was not necessary to criticize “Mukhauta”, for which to search you need torchlight even during day time, but to those audience who are looking for films’ literacy, films’ grammar and films’ elegance when are force fully made fool, then I decided something must be written down.

The hippy culture which was said to be introduced in Kathmandu during 1970’s is the main story theme. In 1976 hippies were the first to introduce heroin in Nepal. Hippy cultures main distinguishing features- Drugs, Crime and Girl are the content “Mukhauta” is trying to potray. But it has totally denied the fundamental fact that cinema is a product of literature. Question that arises is about Cinemas grammar and directorial discourse.

Basically there is no story in “Mukhauta”. When there is no story, then narrative structure, characters formation, development of incidents, goal, grammar, ideology all remains unproductive. “Mukhauta” is a thoughtless cinema, that can sell its product but not it’s thought. For instance, one can use Facebook through iPhone but one does not have an idea how to update a status. “Mukhauta” is one such cinema whose stories flavor has already been tasted by many audiences in cinemas like “Dhanda” and “Chhadke”.

There is no formation of character. We can’t figure why the lead characters get killed and who kills them. Who and what are Protagonist and antagonist, if there is one then what the goal is, remains unopened. When main lead is not decided, talk of ‘crisis’ goes wasted. How should a grey shaded character’s psychology be and what level of action should be is not clarified. The direction is more focused on how to bring Saugat Malla loud, how to make Robin Tamang Nepali accent more like of middle class city people, how to use gun and beat girls etc. It shows the illusion about Cinema being a creation rather than of thought.

Scripts are made unmanaged, similar to that of Brazil in world cup having a suicide goal on its first play. Director Arpan Thapa seems to have the same suicidal attack to the audience. Except the cinematography of Narendra Mainali, “Mukhauta” is less likely to be unforgettable. Although titled as a much-awaited cinema, “Mukhautas” director and producer only saw the flower not the thread. The thread that is meant to make flower is its narrative structure. If only Arpan had understood this theory of literature, “Mukhauta” could have been saved from being boring.

Probably this should be the reason; cinemas’ opening is nothing like the rumor on its Facebook wall. Because rumor although may give a discourse but it won’t give continuity for a long time. After watching the cinema, audience will obviously put questions to the director- Is hippy culture only to be blamed for introducing crime in Nepal? Why “Mukhauta” did not have any interaction with philosophy, society, history, drama and economics? Do cities middle class people only interest in protection or even in skill? Is cinema only about production or also about thought? Without answering all this director won’t be forgiven.

Is “mukhauta’s” gist same as the above image of silliness? This million dollar question is important to be answered .Because actor and producer can never be greater than script.