‘Chha Maya Chhapakkai’ Movie Review : A Thoroughly Entertaining Sociopolitical Dramedy

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Rupak Risal
Rating: 3.5/5

This latest Deepak-Deepa venture is supposedly inspired by a true incident that took place in a village of the Far Western Province. It is the story of dispute in resource distribution between two local bodies. It is the story of deprived and unprivileged ones’struggle to have their voice heard by the fortunate and privileged ones. It is the story of dirty game of politics and wrecked houses due to overly idealistic household heads. And it is the story of lovers and their struggle to give a happy ending to their love story.

After the blockbuster success of three installments of ChhakkaPanja series and Shatru Gate, this is the fifth venture to come out from Deepak – Deepa movie factory. Directorial chair this time has been given to Dipendra Lama, yet it has all the stamps of a Deepak – Deepa venture. Strong characters and dialogues, unpredictable proceedings, funny punch lines and rugged rural outlook that most Nepali movie goers can relate to are the highlights of the movie.

In the acting department, Deepak Raj Girihas shed all of his alpha male look that he bore in his previous movies and has portrayed a hapless son of an idealistic father. Yet he is the dominant character and has handled the role with required amount of believability. Jeetu, Keki and all other characters have done enough justice to their role.

But it is already popular among the mass KedarGhimire, whose performance gives us the feel that the role was written especially for him. The odd pairing of Deepak and Keki has been established convincingly. In addition, not shying away from making fun of themselves in the promotional song with DurgeshThapa in YouTube has already convinced the viewers in not taking their (Deepak and Jeetu especially) casting as leads too seriously.

Rarely do we as Nepali movie goers get the opportunity to watch movies that are driven by content and not have any overly melodramatic sequences to fool and bore the audience. With pleasure, I would like to stress that ‘Chha Maya Chhapakkai’ is that rare breed. “Film making is a privilege”, is a quote I got the opportunity to read more than once in my twitter-verse this week. After viewing this movie, I am convinced that the makers have taken this privilege with sufficient sincerity.

Chha Maya Chhapakkai has substance over style, very engaging screenplay and grounded setting with convincing characters. The movie has also been helped by very effective lighting and camera work on most occasions, especially the rural household look and the interiors and some night scenes have been captured magnificently. It teaches practicality over ideology without sounding preachy with the help of strong content and storyline. It’s bold, to the point and has abundant punches in the entertainment front as well. It’s witty one-liners, comically timed dialogues uttered by all characters, more so by KedarGhimire makethe viewers burst into laughter every now and then. The only song in the movie has already been popular in YouTube.

Some minor mistakes could have been easily avoided. The motor bikers never wear helmet. Keki’s character goes in the field to teach how to wash hands with stethoscope around her shoulder and we never clearly know if she is a doctor or a nurse. Listening to a couple of lines from a bureaucrat convinces the male lead in totally changing his mind even if it means losing the late bloomed love of his life doesn’t look very convincing. Nor does the villagers taking his side at the end despite his well-known act of choosing love over political principle.

There are no larger than life characters in the movie, it is the content, conscious and show-do-not-tell style of storytelling that has made the movie worthy of watching. Moreover, it never ceases to entertain the viewers.

Producer: Rohit Adhikari
Director: Dipendra Lama
Cast: Dipak Raj Giri, KekiAdhikari, KedarparasadGhimire, JItu Nepal, Shupushpa Bhatta, Prakash Ghimire, Rama Thapaliya, Sisir Bandel,Anurag Kuwar, Bisnu Sapkota, Sabin Bastola, Basanta Bhatta, Dipak Chettriet al.

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