First and the most important reason was the comeback of Manisha Koirala in Nepali film after two decades of absence. Movie lovers had a great expectation from Manisha Koirala based on her immense popularity in Hindi movies and Bollywood experience. The second reason was its director Dipendra K Khanal who had presented Rajesh Hamal in a new look in his movie The Yug Dekhi Yug Samma. Dipendra tried to present something new in his first movie The Yug Dekhi Yug Samma, which the viewers didn’t like as expected. Dipendra says that the movie was made in different trend, and was not suitable on our industry. So, he has tried to come up with a purely commercial themes in his movie Dharma. Dipendra has studied film direction in China. This is also one of the reasons to have high hopes on his movies. In short, Dharma has got educated and experienced team. Dharma starcast Rajesh Hamal and Nikhil Upreti apart from Manisha is also another huge strength.
But, medias and newspapers reviews of Dharma is not as good as expected. They say the movie has nothing new and has the same masala that are used in old Hindi and Nepali movies. The only new thing is the actress, team, location, and presentation of those old subject matters.
When I watched the movie, I found the music was also good apart from the team. But the story had nothing new in it and it was was presented in purely filmy way. In some places, those filmy styles were added by force and it was very obvious. The dialogue delivery of Manisha Koirala was also not that good. Manisha had spoken Nepali language in the tone sounding more like Hindi and English. Manisha had expressed her dissatisfaction with the director and his style of direction during the shooting of the movie.
What might be the reason?
These days, Nepali film makers are mainly focused on promoting tools. Some producers are promoting their movies by saying that the background music of the movies has been done on that studio where Slumdog Millionaire’s music was done. Some producers are even promote their movie saying that: it was the first movie all of whose songs are sung by Prashant Tamang. Our producers think that with the help of these promotion stunts their film will win the heart of the audience. These tactics only get publicity and fame not a good business. To do a good business they should have the content contents that the audience expects in a good movie (or, don’t expect – in suspense movies).
That was what happened with Dharma. The producers were so much excited about the presence of Bollywood superstar, Manisha Koirala, after a long time in a Nepali movie. They forgot to focus on her dialogue delivery or the story. It could have been corrected if they had wanted but, they were more focused on the publicity than the content of the movie. If Dipendra K Khanal hard tried, he could have achieved a better performance from Manisha Koirala. But, he failed on this. He failed to understand the fact that a good actor needs a good director to perform in the full potential. We hope Manisha has learnt the lesson and will be careful in her upcoming projects.
Promotion is required but it is not everything. A good performance with a good promotion results in a great movie. I hope our film makers will do the publicity of their movie as Bhuwan KC does. Bhuwan KC says, with full confidence, that we should watch his movies because it is made by Bhuwan KC. But, it has more than the name in it – we can be confident in his saying because, he doesn’t compromise with the core part of the movie.