It has been a while since I enjoyed a Nepali movie, so it may seem a bit odd to hear about the industry from me. The reason is not that I have lost interest in Nepali movies or that I am finally not willing to spend time watching a Bollywood movie remade in Nepali language. It is because I can’t relate to them anymore.
For example, the last Nepali movie I watched was “Numafung”, excellent storyline, great location and good actors-a rare combination by Kathmandu standards! It is about a girl trapped in tradition surrounding marriage and dating in here village. A storyline based in rural Nepal, Numafung’s appeal (in my case) was sadly limited to enjoying the location.
As urbanization grows in Nepal, large number of movie goers are experiencing changes in lifestyle and surroundings. They are exposed to international music, culture and ideas. It is not fair to expect them to fall for same old storyline where a village belle is wooed by a city slicker or where a widowed mother raises her sons to be no nonsense crime fighters. Nepali movies-when they try to present an “original” storyline are stuck in the old routine, but most of the time they are shamelessly copying Bollywood movies.
Not surprisingly more and more Nepalese gravitate towards Bollywood movies and the few who are comfortable with English choose Hollywood flicks. At least they are made better and have (even though limited sometimes) original and interesting storyline.
If Nepali movie industry is to survive and thrive, here is what needs to happen-increased production value, better storyline that reflect changing nature of the country and also better marketing.
On marketing, let me deviate a little here. A week or so back, I had an opportunity to participate in live chat with Bollywood actor ShahRukh Khan and Kajol, who were in the US to promote their upcoming movie My Name is Khan. Thats what need to happen with Nepali movies too. Every year Nepali population in the US and Europe is growing, why not utilize the growing diaspora?
Wikipedia has a comprehensive entry on Nepali movie industry.
And I will surely continue on this conversation about Nepali movie industry..