Genre: Comedy, Crime
Director: Shree Ram Dahal
Cast: Saugat Malla, Karma, Bikram Singh Tharu, Pravan Bhusal, Surabina Karki and Krishna Bhakta Maharjan
Being screened at QFX Cinemas
Good script is the USP of any successful film. But if the script has loopholes, then even noted actors cannot save the film. It is true for Lukamari, the acting powerhouse Saugat Malla and Karma can’t save this poorly written script, making it a mediocre flick.
Lukamari is a hide-and-seek of criminals and cops to solve a murder mystery. Budhan Soltee (Saugat Malla) and Kirat Soltee (Bikram Singh Tharu) are tenants of Musya Sahu (Krishna Bhakta Maharjan), and share a room. Musya Sahu has a son named Unique Maharjan (Karma). In the same house live a couple Rajan Giri (Pravan Bhusal) and Jaya Giri (Surabina Karki).
Budhan and Kirat are introduced as herbal marketing officer and insurance agent respectively. And they seem to be spying on Rajan and his wife Jaya — Rajan works in a travel agency and frequently travels to other cities leaving Jaya alone.
Another story develops parallelly, where cops are searching for the murderer of a college girl Rupa KC. As the film unfolds, this case gets connected with the tenants of Musya Sahu.
The story written by Shree Ram Dahal and Binod Khatiwada seems to be inspired by the Khyati Shrestha murder case of 2009. Shrestha, a college student, was kidnapped and brutally murdered by her teacher Biren Shrestha. Yet the duo fail to write a thrilling story, the climax of Lukamari is not worth waiting. Dahal as a director is also average — his story telling is dull, he can’t create suspense and thrill required in a murder mystery.
Yet a few scenes in the first half of the film are funny and entertaining. The reflection of the life in Kathmandu — boys playing carom, eve teasing, bromance, father and son quarrel, Newari language and locality — is honest.
Malla has easily transformed into a man from Tarai through his dialogue delivery and body posture. His comic timing is good. Yet the way he observes his neighbours is exaggerated, making it easy for one to guess his true identity.
Other actors — Tharu as Kirat, JBDC in the role of Somraj Pundit, Bhusal as Rajan, and Karki as a sexy housewife who longs for love — have done their job beautifully. Maharjan as Musya Sahu is natural.
But it is Karma who steals the show as Unique. From his tone of speaking to body language, everything makes you laugh with his terrific comic timing. He is natural yet unique as Unique.
Bikash Silwal’s music is good —Timro Shahar Kathmandu rocks and Prastav soothes you in the film.
A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.