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Treading new waters

KATHMANDU, DEC 29 - Shifting away from the romantic genre to try my hand at something completely different wasn’t easy,” admits Sudarshan Thapa.

Thapa is director of the latest Nepali film Dhanda, a thriller that explores the brutal and oft underreported experiences of unskilled and uneducated migrant workers who find themselves faced with the harshest of circumstances on foreign land and in many cases, before they even reach there.

The visually stunning trailer released on YouTube a few months back has already grabbed a lot of attention, creating waves of anticipation. Audiences are undoubtedly expecting a film that is not a mere entertainment package, but one that delivers a serious message along with refined aesthetics.

Dhanda stars Arpan Thapa (who also wrote the screenplay for the film) and Samuna KC in the lead roles, with Pushkar Gurung, Dilbhusan Pathak and Kamal Mani Nepal comprising the supporting cast. Co-produced by Sudarshan and Baburam Dahal, it is Sudarshan’s fourth directorial venture, after having accomplished a plethora of romantic films such as Mero Euta Saathi Chha, Ke Yo Maya Ho and Mero Love Story.

“I was confident I wanted to make this film as soon as Arpan had narrated the story to me,” says Sudarshan who found himself undeterred by the unfamiliarity of the genre. “Even though the concept and style of working would be completely different from what I was used to, I felt like it was a project worth plunging into.”

For Sudarshan, films offer the most powerful medium for creating awareness, which is why he wasn’t going to let the opportunity for doing so slip. Dhanda is story of a man who desires to go to the US, but instead, witnesses his life gradually destruct as he falls into the hands of all the wrong people. “While some elements of the story are inspired by real events, the latter part of the film, where the protagonist actively seeks revenge from those that have betrayed him, are fictional,” says Sudarshan.

Dhanda premiered in Kathmandu on Thursday with a screening at the F-Cube Theatre, KL Tower, Chuchepati and has so far garnered a fairly positive response.

“The response so far as been great, with personalities like Rajesh Hamal and Nir Shah praising the film for its innovative concept,” says Sudarshan. He adds that reaction to the film, as evidenced on social networking sites, has also been encouraging. “We are confident about our product and are hoping for the best.”

The filmmaking experience has been new and exciting for Sudarshan, and he feels that audiences will also take to it well. “I think the audience will receive the same kind of thrill I felt while making Dhanda.”

As a film that relies on silences rather than dialogues to convey emotions while attempting to bring home pertinent social issues, Dhanda looks like a film that is definitely something for audiences to try at least once.

Dhanda is playing in cinemas around town

Posted on: 2012-12-30 09:00

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