Like all other human being with dignity and respect Suresh feels very much rebelling and hits the father of Gurans on his chick (sic) with the same shoe that he asked his grandmother to clean with her sari.
– Hira Vishwakarma
In the modern days of communication movies have become the part of our life. The whole society follows their favorite actors, what they wear, they eat, they do becomes fashion for the society, though every body knows that it is a virtual world and many of the things shown have very little to do with the society and our real life. In Nepal, movie making has gained momentum and it is said that about four to five dozen movies are made every year but all of them are made in same pattern with similar stories as a result of that it has hardly become able to draw the audience from middle and upper caste group. I also had thought that Batomuniko Phool would be one of those formula movies which has very little to do with the society and the people who are living without dignity and respect.
The movie Batomuniko Phool is in many way off the track of regular Nepali movies though there are some usual formula put in as we know that movie goers are not from middle and upper class people and they do not help recover the cost which is said to be more than 10 million rupees. The story of the movie is not so new, as we have been watching movies with a story where two young man and woman fall in love but their love comes through many hurdles of villains either a malicious young man or one of the relatives of the man or woman. Eventually they successfully overcome the hurdle and live happily ever after or die with the hope of meeting in another life. This movie if seen through the eyes of same old pattern and then it is not different at all, however, the content and the presentation should be said very different than the traditional movie.
This movie has carried a big message that the caste based discrimination against so called Dalits of Nepal exist and when it comes to the inter caste marriage then lovers have to suffer a lot. Suresh Pariyar (Yash Kumar) and Gurans (Rekha Thapa) love each other since their childhood and Gurans is very fond of the singing talent of her lover, the life goes happily but when Suresh discovers that if he marries Gurans who is a daughter of so called social reformer who is working to uplift the situation of Dalits and Brahmin by caste then she will have to go through a very humiliated life being an untouchable woman who would be barred to enter a temple and discarded by the families. When Suresh sees a village woman from a Brahimin family married to a Kami who find no where to settle as they are humiliated and discarded by the society wherever they go and try to find refuse at the house of her father, who also expels her stating that she is already dead for him when she eloped with a Kami and hangs herself to death. Suresh realizes that fate of his beloved Gurans would be like that lady and decides to distant himself. Since he is very dear to Gurans and both of them can not live without each other eventually decide to marry. Since Guran’s father is a social reformer working for Dalit cause Suresh grandmother thinks that it is possible to have an arranged marriage between a Dalit and Brahimin.
The climax and turning point of the movie is that Suresh and his grandmother visit the father of Gurans who asks the grandmother to wipe the dust of his shoes to humiliate her and says, “if you feel humiliated when I asked you to clean my shoes with your sari how dare you are to humiliate me by asking my daughter to marry your grandson who is a low caste person”. Like all other human being with dignity and respect he feels very much rebelling and hits the father of Gurans on his chick with the same shoe that he asked his grandmother to clean with her sari. After this incident Gurnas father locks her and decides to marry her with a villain who had indeed raped the fiancé of Suresh’s brother. When Suresh knew that his love is being taken away then goes to fight with them. In the fierce battle with the villain not only the villain but his love also gets killed.
In the movie the heroine Gurans could have been saved and they could live happily ever after, but director Suraj Subba who gave successful movies as a writer in the past has done a beautiful work by taking the audience to an imaginative world where Suresh feels that his true love is around him.
In order to make the film salable big star like Rajesh Hamal has given his guest appearance, however, that is very much worth, as he has played the role of not just a police DSP but as a messenger to the society. Who upon listening to a Gandharva (Arun Nepal) who describes the heart breaking story of two lovers and how Suresh had to kill his own love and villain tells the agitating group of people who were demanding the death penalty for Suresh that it is not him but whole society is responsible to make him killer and that needs to change.
Most of the Nepalese audiences are accustomed to the Bollywood and Hollywood movies with which Nepalese movies can not be compared in terms of cast, technology as well as art, but the cinematography of this movie is so amazing that no one feels that it is a Nepali movie with very little budget with rudiment technology. Most of the outdoor shootings have been done around Kulekhani area and that looks like a natural studio which gives so much pleasure to the eye of the audiences. Some of the shots are very unbelievable as it circles around the character even on a suspension bridge. No one can believe that with an uncomparable budget with Bollywood movie the Nepalese cinematographer can do such a splendid job.
Like many other formula movie this movie too tired to have some group dance and comedy but that are not so entertaining as it should have been. The music and lyrics are by Yashkumar himself which are very pleasing especially to the youths and there are some of his already hit songs which have been filmed beautifully but the song sang by Gandharva does not suit to the character. Its heroine Rekha Thapa looks much older than its hero Yashkumar, though it was said to bring out the character as per the story, as it would not have been had a younger artist been introduced.
Personally after Darpan Chhaya (very popular movie of Tulsi Ghimire camp) this is the next movie that I watched in a cinema and it is a must watch movie for social reformer and activist besides entertainment seekers.
Originally published at NepalDalitInfo.net, on November 27,2010. Author Hira Vishwakarma. Used with permission.