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Film review: The empty Nepali society in 'The Red Suitcase'

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There is a scene in 'The Red Suitcase', where a pick-up truck carrying goods is moving towards Koteshwar from Tinkune. In the same scene with a pickup carrying a box returned from abroad, a plane flying abroad is attached. The director didn't keep this scene just like that, or the plane wasn't shot just like that when cinematographer Susan Prajapati was shooting the pickup scene.

Film review: The empty Nepali society in 'The Red Suitcase'

The director deliberately placed this paradox in the film, which scene carries the seriousness of the theme raised by 'The Red Suitcase'. This single frame speaks the bitter reality of Nepali society; Youth going abroad and returning to the box incomplete dream! In this scene, the essence of 'The Red Suitcase' is found .

'The Red Suitcase', premiered at the world-renowned film festival in Venice, uses images to explore the existing society, rural economy and Nepali destiny. Directed by Fidel Devkota, this film tells the pain and reality of Nepali society in 86 minutes. In addition, it satirizes the grievances against the government, the disappointment in the people, and the deterioration of the health sector. In the same way, it shows the wishes, hopes and futures that are contracted with remittances.

The story of this film is not very new. The pain Nepalis are experiencing and seeing is shown in the film. This is not a film where the hero solves the seemingly impossible problem in one fell swoop. It doesn't even belong in a film, where the hero and the heroine are dancing. Beyond the hype and spice of Bollywood, 'The Red Suitcase' slowly exposes foreign employment and the wounds it inflicts. When will the wound stop hurting the Nepalese society? Not decided .

A pickup driver (Saugat Mall) travels from Tribhuvan Airport to its destination to deliver a coffin and a red suitcase from Qatar to Beyul. The story is told in the film through the feelings that the driver experiences on the same journey, the characters he meets and the society he sees. Along with the driver's journey towards Bayul, another person also starts his journey along .

Where is the destination of the person who is walking with a red suitcase in a blue dress? Who is he? Why did the man start his journey with the pickup driver? 'The Red Suitcase' tells the story of not only the pick-up driver, but the unknown man who carries a red suitcase. The images used to tell this story are unique in the film. There is another powerful scene in the

film. The pickup driver looks around for help in carrying the coffin to the yard. Only the elderly and women are seen in the group gathered in the courtyard. Young youth is nowhere to be seen in that crowd . The camera repeatedly shows only the elderly, women and children . Not only the rural areas, this scene shows the empty Nepalese society with the youth going abroad. Likewise, it satirizes the weak state power and hopeless politics by portraying millions of young people who have migrated abroad for work and education.

In the next scene of the film, there is a long conversation between the pickup driver and an ex-serviceman (Vipin Karki) who fought the war in Jammu and Kashmir. The gossiping pickup driver blames the state for youths returning to the box . Before the pick-up driver could finish talking, the ex-serviceman suddenly asked, "Khoi Sarkar ?, in this country, there is a government for the poor people too, and ?"

This scene shows the anger, frustration and complaints of the Nepalese youth towards the government and politics. Similarly, 'The Red Suitcase' has shown the deep problems of Nepali society through the use of ambulances to show the impact of the climate crisis on the life of the Himalayan people and the lives that are far away from health services. Even the names of the characters are sarcastic. Here the rich have gone abroad to earn money, they are naming their daughter Asha after taking a little hope from a hopeless state.

The color red has been used artistically from the beginning to the end in the film . A red suitcase expresses the desire, dream and anger of those connected with that suitcase. However, the red color of the petrol pump indicates that the journey ahead is dangerous. Similarly, Dhanek Jahan (Srishti Shrestha) wears red lace rope and nightly vermilion shows her immense love for her husband .

In the same way, attention has been paid to the use of sound in the film. The sound is not used in the story, the sound that resonates in the world created by the director is used. If there is any music playing in the background, the root cause is also shown. Cinematographer Prajapati has shot the mysterious character in the fog, in the dark, similarly, he has meaningfully captured the other characters in the beautiful scenes of silhouettes, 'frames within frames'.

The scene showing the pickup driver in a mirror between the mirrors is very powerful and meaningful . This scene hints at the mysterious world that the driver then enters along with the psychology of the driver.

It is not that there is no weakness in the film between such strong scenes and images. The film is not only strengthened by the images, but also the strength of the narrative style is necessary. In the style in which director Devkota has presented the story of 'The Red Suitcase' by mixing 'Magic Realism', he seems to be honest . However, due to the weak screenplay and immature narrative style, the audience cannot sink into the depth of the theme raised by the film. The film fails in creating the

conflict, the pickup driver does not have to struggle much to deliver the box to the destination . Even in the scene where the pickup is broken, that conflict is not established . Similarly, there is another scene in the film, where a character from the box is shedding tears in deep grief . The pain in him, the pain and the feeling of pain are not communicated to the audience. When the

character establishment and conflict creation become weak, these feelings are communicated to the audience superficially, which makes the audience unable to connect with the original meaning of the film. This film could have been shortened even in editing. Some scenes in the film are easily predictable, like Bipin's character! Among these weaknesses, the audience is tied to the film by the actor's performance. In a short role, Vipin has shown his acting prowess again. In this role, Vipin looks very different and suits the character . His character rarely blinked during long conversations.

He has powerfully presented the character of that character in Hulia of the former army through his acting. Actor Malla's performance as a pick-up driver also shows the character's psychology, lost complaints and serious nature within the character . Actors Praveen Khatiwada and Srishti Shrestha have proved themselves in short roles. It is a pity that the big channel 'QFX' did not give this film with a different narrative style and strong acting by the actors!

प्रकाशित : वैशाख १, २०८१ १६:३४
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