Palash sans scent

Palash

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Subash Koirala

Cast: Aayub KC, Kameshwor Chaurasiya,  Prakash Ghimire, Kamal Devkota and Rekha Thapa

Being screened at QFX Cinemas

Kathmandu

Palash is a flower without scent. And the film Palash is the same — a film without any scent, it doesn’t deliver entertainment.

Krishna (Aayub KC) is madly in love with Samjhana (Rekha Thapa) since childhood but his love is not reciprocated. Because Samjhana, who is older than Krishna in age, is high-headed about her beauty. Working as a primary school teacher Samjhana wants to get married to rich and handsome man who will keep her in a mahal (palace). Despite Samjhana’s superior ways, aimless Krishna tries to convince her to accept his love. Hence, he follows her everywhere.

One day Samjhana gets married and off goes Krishna to India to work in a factory. After two years, a broker comes to Krishna and shows him the photos of a brothel’s girls while Krishna is sipping tea. One of the girls in the photos is Samjhana — he runs to the brothel and meets Samjhana in room number 102.

Directed by Subash Koirala, Palash is mediocre. The first-half of the movie revolves around Krishna and his best friend Pitte (Kamal Devkota) trying to churn out laughter through their mischievous talks and activities — but it is not so funny. Pitte talks about his sh*ts and teases Samjhana calling her a spinster; Samjhana snaps at Krishna every time he approaches saying she is very beautiful and thus deserves to live life as a queen. All these elements are supposed to light up the film, but only manages to get on one’s nerves.

The second-half of the film is interesting. The pace is good as compared to the first. Antagonist Bhola (Kameshwor Chaurasiya) adds charm to the film, lighting up the screen whenever he appears. Tension builds up and emotions erupt in the second-half as Bhola gives an insight into the hellish life of a brothel. However, it doesn’t accumulate to the needed climax of the film, making it contrived and unconvincing. Moreover, Thapa’s heroism as an actor that she has set in her earlier films, takes over her out of nowhere and overshadows her character — she fights and crashes the goons like a South Indian film’s hero.

Written by actor KC, the plot is not fresh while some parts lack conviction. Characters, except for Samjhana’s, have been written well. It is evident in Krishna as the one-sided lover and Bhola’s malicious and mean character. In terms of Samjhana, KC has failed to develop this character just confining her to being greedy and over-ambitious; the male writer has not done justice to a woman’s character. But he has tried to break patriarchal barriers by showing Samjhana enjoying her job as a prostitute. The film has a message — one shouldn’t be arrogant about one’s beauty.

When portraying their characters, KC and Thapa have done an average job alongside the supporting cast. It is Chaurasiya as Bhola who steals the show. His get-up, gait and dialogue delivery are perfect.

The portrayal of the culture of bhitri madhesh as setting is different and adds to the film. And compositions of Arjun Pokharel — Kasle Bachauchha Timlai is pleasant and while the semi-classical Timro Saathma Huda Maya is melodious.