Editor’s Note: This article is one of the fact-check analyses for the “Who loves Nepali Movies?” article series. The case study of Guna Cinema and case study of Big Cinema were previously published. All photos by Raunak.
So-called high class Nepali don’t go to theaters to watch Nepali movies. They say Nepali movies are only for low and lower-middle class people. Why is that?
It is because our theaters practice preferencial treatment to Nepali and Hindi movies! Who would like to be guest to somebody who is so unwelcoming?
Gopi Krishna Movies is one of the biggest multiplex movie theaters in Nepal. Apart from theaters, Gopi Krishna Movies is also engaged in production of Nepali movies. They have been producing at least two movies every year. Like Guna Cinema, Gopi Krishna movies is also directly involved in the betterment of Nepali movies.
Does Gopi Krishna Movies loves Nepali movies?
- Nepali movies featured in theaters with torn and damaged seats
- Customer sometimes are forced to watch their home production movie
- They filter competition when they are featuring home production. Said that, we can safely assume the owner’s friend and families get preferential treatment on holdovers too.
Gopi Krishna has 7 theaters. Out of them, Meera and Radha feature most of the Nepali movies. Recently released movie Dharma, featuring Manisha Koirala, was shown in Radha. The seats shown in Photo 1, is an example of the seats in the theater. Majority of the seats of the theatre are torn and broken. Based on the talents of the crew members and star-casting, the movie was expected to do a very good business, but it wasn’t as successful as expected. We can’t blame the seats, but it would have been better if they could screen such hopeful movies in a better theatre.
Photo 1: Torn seats in Gopi Krishna Movies.
Photo 2: Radha theater within Gopi Krishna Movies. Poster of the recent release can be seen on the left.
Viewers forced to watch Khushi
In a recent news in some websites, the staffs of Gopi Krishna movies forced the customer to watch a flop movie, Khushi, a home production of Gopi Krishna Movies. They were denied the ticket of Dharma citing its unavailability.
Photo 3: Mira theater within Gopi Krishna Movies.
Preferential treatment and filtering of competitive movies
We don’t know what the legal provisions are there for being anticompetitive, but theater owners shouldn’t be allowed to produce movies in the first place. One can’t blame them for taking undue advantage while releasing home production movie.
For example, about one and half years back, Suresh Darpan Pokharel’s movie Nishana was not featured in Gopi Krishna movies. The movie made a good business in the valley. I asked Suresh Darpan to know the reason behind Gopi Krishana refusing to feature Nishana. Suresh told that Kusume Rumal, Gopi Krishna Movies production, was being featured at that time. Screening Nishana would have risked the business of Kusume Rumal. If that was illegal, Suresh should have taken legal action against the theater. But, there should be a mechanism to overlook the procedure by which a theater determine the release dates and holdovers.
In Gopi Krishna’s part, such preferential treatments to movies prove that they don’t love Nepali movies at all.
Movie Mentality – viewer classes and leg pulling
In the Nepalese mindset, a belief is deep rooted – Nepali movies are only targeted towards lower class Nepali people. That is the reason people of higher class don’t go to the theatre to watch Nepali movies. But, if the multiplexes of Nepal don’t provide suitable theatre and condition to watch Nepali movies than how could people of higher class and youngsters go to watch movies?
Producers association, director association, Nepali film development board, actors, actress, and all film makers are continuously blaming the government for the problem in Nepali movie industry. They have been demanding ban on Hindi and English movies. I hope they will realize sooner than later that pulling others’ leg won’t help Nepali movie to progress. Hence, Nepali film industry personnel are creating a bad environment and are responsible for the slow pace of the development of Nepali movies.
[Note : “Who loves Nepali Movies?” article series will continue with another theater …]
Photos and original writing – Raunak, Modification and editing – Anand