Threshold or Chaukathi, a 30-minute film made by my friend Deepak Rauniyar, was officially the first film to be selected to be screened at Cannes Film Festival. There were two more from Nepal same year.
Despite being screened at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival in Kathmandu, where it was adjudged the third-best film, I had not watched it and when it got selected for Cannes, I just felt like I should have watched it.
Deepak was surprised when I asked him, after he returned from Paris, to inform me to screening of it. He promised he would and he invited me today at Kumari, where the film will be screened just before Terminator Salvation [oddly enough to comment] on the ticket for English movie.
To be true, I didn’t expect anything ‘very good’ from Deepak, a close-friend during our jobs at Nepal Samacharpatra daily. But he proved to be beyond my expectations; although I feel there are still a lot to be improved.
So, what’s the Chaukathi all about? It’s a story of a woman, educated till standard 10 before marriage, who is amazed by the talks of a census data collector woman. The woman says the household Tarai woman that she left her husband because it did not just worked. Then, during the night, when her husband asks her for an intercourse, he refuses and leaves the room as she was in no mood for it.
Very simple storyline but told nicely – a strong message of women empowerment. I loved a few things about it:
- There is no villain, even the husband of Saraswoti Gupta, the woman, loves her dearly.
- Messages are told vividly yet nothing like preaching.
- Natural story – I didn’t felt like even a piece of it can not happen in my neighborhood.
Rooms for improvement: yes, the film is unnecessarily long – it will lose nothing if brought down to 20 minutes; acting is not the best; in few scenes camerawork/editing leaves scars.
Somewhere in Facebook, Deepak wrote that a popular commercial director told him that since the film is produced/written/directed/edited by him, only he would watch it. I am not interested in what he answered, but here is my answer: it is a lot better than a few of your films that I have watched.
And, before I conclude here is an encouraging comment from a man sitting behind me: It looks like a Hindi film dubbed in Nepali. Well done, Deepak!