That aside, Saili comes with its own set of expectations. The music video never explained too much, thus engaging our imaginations and involving us emotionally by demanding the audience participate. Adapting a five-minute song into a feature-length film is a hefty task, but we do expect our intelligence and emotions to be as engaged. But alas.
Binod Paudel, writer-director of the film Bulbul, is the campus chief of Nepal’s first film school, Oscar International College. Most of the films made by the college’s alumni have accrued accolades, not just locally but also globally.
For as long as films have been made, one basic narrative form, also known as the ‘Classical Hollywood Narrative’, has been the norm—there’s a hero, who is male, and he falls in love with a heroine, who is female.
For every film review, my work begins with scribbling notes in dark cinema halls. I sit through the films as alert as I can be, ignoring my fellow filmgoers, their giggles, phone calls and popcorn crunches. But when I’m walking out of the theatre, I’m nervous about having to comment on the same issues, over and over again for every review!
In the digital age, Nepali filmmakers seem to believe they have to cultivate their audience—either by cashing in on the fame of a ‘superstar’, presenting a ‘unique story’, or tapping into contemporary mores.