Just imagine, you go to a movie hall, pay for a high-priced ticket to see the latest Nepali flick, only to leave long before the interval because you weren’t enjoying the movie. How would you feel in that situation? Perhaps a little disappointed, or maybe even a little bit angry having wasted your valuable money. At least that’s how I felt when I went to watch a Nepali film with my friends after not going to see one for a long time. We were excited to see a product of our own film industry, but unfortunately, we did not like the movie. It was like a serial, lacked clean cinematography, featured bad acting, and didn’t have a good storyline.
There are many youth in Nepal that prefer watching foreign movies over our domestic productions—especially in Kathmandu, which is flooded with countless foreign movies featuring Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and many others. There are many youth who even find it difficult to recall the names of our movies. In a discussion, one of my friends said that watching new Nepali movies nowadays is a waste of time and money; it fails to provide the entertainment that we seek. But, he shared that he is still a fan of classic Nepali movies. “They were really good with good stories and melodious songs. But now it is hard to find such movies.” He named a long list of classic Nepali movies that he had seen. Still today, he loves listening to the old songs from those movies.
Some people argue that our film industry doesn’t have a large enough budget to make quality movies. They say that we shouldn’t always look at our movies in comparison with foreign movies. But is the budget the primary reason for the poor quality of recently produced Nepali movies? Even good movies can be made with a small budget. Take the movie Rock on!! for example. Though it was a low-budget production, it still rocked audiences. This just shows that ideas and stories are more important than a large budget. Most of the time, we copy foreign movies or use the same old formula. In many movies, we either have the same old love stories or fight scenes.
Most people don’t dare make experimental movies. They are afraid the risk might cause them to lose money. But filmmakers need to concentrate more on quality rather than making money. If the quality of a movie is good, then the quantity of money should match.
There were comparatively good movies like Loot and others that entertained the nation’s youth. But most of our movies are audience oriented. So people focus on same story and formula targeting a select audience. Producers and directors focus on what has worked in the past, and what will most easily win publicity. But repeating the same formula does not necessarily make a good movie or ensure its popularity. If it is an excellent movie, people will throng to the movie halls. It’s time for movie makers to redirect their efforts to making quality movies, not making money. Because going by the most recent releases, the latter strategy is not producing the desired results.