HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The two-and-half year long journey is about to reach its destination. After a long wait, the Nepali audience will finally get to travel through the Highway that sets on its journey from Ilam to Kathmandu.
Don’t get confused, as Highway is one of the most awaited Nepali movies set to hit the theatres on July 20. “The movie will be released in the urban cities of Nepal this Friday,” states Deepak Rauniyar, who is debuting as a feature film director with this film .The shoot of the movie had actually started from February 2011, but they had “started working on the movie for two and half years”.
And in these years, they have created a movie that reflects “modern Nepali society” and intends to “break the stereotypes of people about Nepal”. “The movie doesn’t talk about those things which Nepal is familiar to the outside world — mountains or women dominated by males,” reveals Rauniyar adding that the movie has five different stories exploring the different relationships that exist in the present day Nepali society. The movie centres around the story of a lahure and his wife, the struggle and relationship of transgender, today’s young girls, loneliness of the modern day man and a bar dancer. These stories get connected during a bus journey from Ilam to Kathmandu.
Nine main actors are acting in these stories of the movie.
Some of the lead characters in the movie include Karma, Saugat Malla, Dayahang Rai, Vinay Shrestha, Reecha Sharma, Eelum Dixit, Sandip Chhetri, Rajan Khatiwada and Rabindra Mishra, among others.
The characters in this movie as per Rauniyar “are based on some real life characters that we meet during our research about different stories related to our movie”.
But as the movie is about different groups of society, who is the target audience? “We expect the content will be liked by all as people can easily relate to it, but the young crowd who watches international movies are our target audience,” explains Rauniyar.
Youth are the target because “we have crafted the movie trying to match it to the international standards. We hope those who love the techniques will enjoy the craft of our movie”.
So, what is different in this than other Nepali movies? “The story moves back and forth but we have tried to present the story without making it confusing. We have experimented in style,” says the director claiming that they have not used the “content of masala movies”.
And it took nine whole months to edit the movie where they have “edited the movie in the style of news — inverted pyramid”.
The other important thing the director wants to underscore with this movie is the use of technology.
Rauniyar, who worked as a journalist and film critic, often was unsatisfied with Nepali filmmakers “who used to complain that Nepal lacks technology”.
Lack of technology does not stop from creating good movies for Rauniyar who states, “It is our honest attempt to create world class craft using the available resources. We haven’t used hi-fi equipment in it. At the end it is the story that sells, not the equipment.”
The genre of Highway is drama and the director is ready for both — its failure or success. “It is an experiment. It might be a blockbuster or it a flop, and I am prepared for both. Success of the movie depends upon the taste of audience and its timing,” he mentions.
Rauniyar, who had often been threatened by “Nepal filmmakers because I used to criticise them for copying other movies”, expresses, “We have tried to create a fully Nepali movie. And Highway doesn’t accept that Cinema is only entertainment. Instead it wants to tell that a filmmaker is a storyteller.”
Also with its entry in the Berlin Film Festival, the movie has garnered attention at the international level as well. And as per Rauniyar, they are planning theatrical release of the movie in Australia, Europe and America.