Saturday, June 16, 2012

My take on Apabad


Written by: Bhavna Aadhikari

The film is both good and not-so-good. I wouldn’t like to colour it black or white. I’d say, its gray.

What’s Good?

Source: FB Page of Apabad
At the very beginning, I read “inspired by Cast Away”… so I know what to expect… but I was in for a surprise when although it is actually inspired by Cast Away in some ways, the director has made admirable efforts to not copy the scenes from Cast Away. The relation between Suyog and Nelson (Nepali film industry को Wilson भएकोले - Nelson) constantly reminded me of Tom Hanks and Wilson, but I’d still like to give credit to the director for using an earthen-pot instead of a basketball (very ethical) and then using it as a scarecrow. The surviving strategy in the jungle is very innovative and fresh. 

Camera work was good. The film scores fairly well in use of techniques. The most impressive thing that I can remember from the film was when they establish that the hero is stranded somewhere in the middle of Koshi Tappu. The suicide scene was presented very ethically with the disappearance of the hero at the passing of a truck, implying he has jumped off the bridge. 
The presentation does justice to the storyline, which is conflict of two different generations in following their dreams, convention vs non-convention, and separation as a method of realization of what is dear to us. The film is successful to a large extent to portray the dispute in dreams of the older-younger generation. 

Raj Ballav Koirala – USP of the film. 

If I hadn’t seen Cast Away, I’d probably like the film better. But if I am to take the “Cast Away - shadowing my judgement” element out of the film, it’s a good film. 

What’s Not-So-Good?

I wonder if the director was experimetning too much with lights. While there were lovely shots of the table lamp light falling on Suyog’s face when he writing in his room, in the bonfire scene, the right amount of light fell on Suyog’s face but they could have been careful about the triangle-shaped, dark blob of shadow falling on Sugandha’s face. Those were reflections of her own eye-brows and nose, by the way. Then there was a scene where the two lie on the road for a star-gazing session, under a street-light (?) I would’ve thought that when you lie under the street-light, all you would see is the street-light screaming on your face. The stars would look lovely from Tudikhel ground. Then there were certain parts in the film where one had to struggle to see the actors face.

Nisha Adhikari – If I found a letter and a diary of a dear friend, and found out from the diary that he loved me, I’d be heart-broken and would probably be sobbing. But Sugandha looked more constipated than sad/worried to find out that Suyog is no more. I saw Nisha Adhikari on screen for the first time so I may not be entirely correct, but I think she carries off a happy girl character better than a sad girl character. No brownie points to Nisha Adhikari for ‘versatile actor’. And anyway, I think the film would be more or less the same even if I take her out of the film. Sorry, Nisha Adhikari fans. 

While the rest of the hall laughed hard at the ‘trying to commit suicide on a shoe-string, shitting, peeing, pseudo-jerking scenes’; two scenes made me crack-up (1) when the mother finds out her son is dead and collapses on the sofa and then raises her morosed face as if she’d seen the little girl from “The Ring” (2) when the hero reaches home to find the house locked (as his parents have left to attend the press conference). When he turns around, unmistakably everybody in the hall can spot the guy at the window of the house which was locked. Hmm… maybe he was a ghost lurking around too!!

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