The heist of a lifetime

- Manisha Neupane
The heist of a lifetime

Jan 17, 2012-

The new Nepali film Loot which got its nation-wide release last Friday is getting overwhelming responses from all over. Coming into theatres, as it is, at a time when not one Nepali film is doing well, Loot has managed to grab the attention of many people; particularly youths who aren’t otherwise really into watching Nepali films. The style in which the film has been presented and its superb dialogues account for its best parts, putting it in an entirely different bracket from clichéd ‘mainstream’ films. The film is an exception; with plenty of good qualities. Though the film is not flawless, it is an engaging watch. It also presents a picture of how the face of Nepali film is changing, and of course, for the better.

The unconventionally forthright dialogues of the film have earned it an ‘A Certificate’ from the censor board, and a considerable number of ‘beeps’ cover many a sentence. The item song, Udhreko Choli, has also, in some ways, become the talk of the town with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube being widely used to share and view it.

Loot is the story of five guys; they have come to Kathmandu—the city of dreams, to earn money. But none have been successful in doing so. In fact, they all are embedded in their own economical problems. Although their problems might be different, the solution is the same: money. Haku Kale (Saugat Malla) who runs a local alcohol shop is tired of his life. He wants to give his wife Putali (Srijana Subba) and son a better future. He therefore plans a bank robbery that will make him rich in a matter of hours. But he needs assistance from a few more people who are like him—in desperate need of money and prepared to get it at any cost. He finds Naresh (Karma) who needs money to get out of trouble; his habit of gambling has threatened his very life; Khatri (Prateek Raj Neupane) is a drug and small arms dealer tired of risking his life and freedom for small amounts of money; Gopal (Dyahanag Rai) is an unemployed twenty-something  lured by the charms of money and Pandey (Sushil Raj Pandey) is a young man in love who needs money if he is to marry his rich girlfriend Ayesha (Reecha Sharma). These five individuals with completely different backgrounds come together with the singular motive of pulling off a lucrative robbery.

The bank heist is not really a new concept in film. We have seen bank robberies in several Hollywood and even Bollywood films; most recently in Plan and Ankhein. But the way Loot has been presented is really good and especially appealing because audiences can connect with the film in very Nepali way. The film offers nothing that we haven’t seen before in a Nepali film. Its biggest assets are the actors’ performances (especially those by Malla and Rai) and its dialogues. Malla’s portrayal of the intense Haku and Rai’s witty portrayal of Gopal are so well-done that they stay with you for long. Sharma, though in a special appearance, leaves her mark as well. Neupane and Pande, however, have to work hard with their expressions. The dialogues of the film are not fake or ill-applied in any way, and are very well-connected to reality. Purshottam Pradhan’s camera work is very impressive as well. He has superbly captured the roads of Kathmandu, the gallis of Bhaktapur and the tall buildings of the city which symbolise the characters’ big dreams.   

The film would have been better if the screenplay was crisper. The introduction of the characters covers a long part of the film which might seem stretched. Director Nischal Basnet, however, has succeeded in presenting the youths of the capital. Overall, Loot is a genuinely entertaining film to have come out of the Nepali film industry in a long time.

Published: 18-01-2012 09:21

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