So when do I clap?

The formula of a Nepali movie isn’t any different from a Bollywood one, which isn’t different from one flick to another. In essence, they’re all the same.

Nonetheless, going to the cinemas to watch a nepali movie is a really different experience. And a trip to  Gopi Krishna Radha Meera Om Namoha Shiyave…zzzzzz….(GK 7 in short) with friends a few weeks back was an enthralling way to start my Saturday morning. And the movie was The Flash Back – Farkera Herda with Aryan Sigdel as the boy and Yuna Uprety as the girl.

Rich bigreko boy from Belayat loves innocent poor girl from remote gaun, girl doesn’t love him at first, boy desperately tries to prove his machoness, later girl also loves him (after he successfully displays his machoness), they want to marry, but their families disagree, boy sets out to prove his love, boy’s family plan to kill girl, girl’s brother kill the villains, gets arrested but is eventually released from prison, despite slaying three men, because he did it for ‘love’.

All of this with a number of songs at various intervals 1. when boy and girl meet, 2. at a wedding, 3. when girl and boy fall in love, 4. when boy goes to find girl in village, 5. when boy is working hard to impress girl’s brother…etc, etc, etc….

I think the last time I went to a local theater (besides jai nepal and kumari) to watch a nepali film was when ‘Darpan Chaya’ was a huge hit. And that was more than some half a dozen years back at Bishwajyoti Hall at Jamal. It is currently being torn down for a larger multiplex.

The Nepali cinema experience is worth every rupee (even though, I was a free rider this time around:-P). But truly, I would still pay and go, because the last time I went to Kumari to watch ‘I hate love storys’, it sure wasn’t worth the Rs 250 entry and I had to have some tea and popcorn during the break. Machine made tea that is over thrice the price I pay for the world’s best tea at Basantapur. And I get free popcorn with my drink at Sam’s Bar.

NOTE: I don’t understand why they have a discriminating monopoly scheme for an auditorium that doesn’t even have a real balcony. And weekend prices include Fridays as well. A question popped up while I lunched with a friend from school, who was on a visit to Nepal, “Where do you go on dates in Kathmandu?” And all I could say was, “I don’t know…the movies are ridiculously expensive these days. And so are the food courts. Everything is the opposite here in Kathmandu. You can just walk around, I guess.”

But they’re all besides the point. I have a tendency of digressing. The point of this entry is precisely the question below:

So when on earth do I clap?

Yes, it is the question that was running through my mind as The Flash Back rolled on the silver screen.

(I digress again: We actually missed the whole ‘flash back’ part of the movie, because we were late. but yeah, that didn’t matter. we got the story anyways.)

The Nepali movie experience comes with lots of hooting, screaming, whistling and yes CLAPPING! You just don’t ‘sit back, relax and enjoy’. The entire thrill of it is to hoot and clap in crucial moments of the film. And while I was prepared to do all of that, I just didn’t know when the right moments were…to do so. Really, you have to understand the flow and the rhythm of ‘when is the right moment to clap’.

For instance, The Flash Back distributors had put up posters of the hero-heroine doing a weird kiss all around the city. Now, even though it was gross, I was excited for the scene to come coz I thought there would be a roar of thunderous claps and yes, hooting. No kidding, I had imagined it all.

On the contrary, I WAS SO SO SOOOO WRONG.

No one clapped. The hall was silent. It was more of an odd moment than a jubilant moment to clap and hoot for. Strange, very strange. I lacked serious experience.

A few scenes later, the heroine’s brother goes to beat the villians with long swords. And there you go, that was the moment I was required to clap for.

And so, I am now eagerly awaiting for the releases of ‘Kohi Mero’ and ‘First Love’. And since I need to practice when to clap, I can’t be going to Jai Nepal or Kumari. It’s got to be GK7!

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One thought on “So when do I clap?

  1. the first and last time i went to a “nepali” hall was in 2007 when om shanti om took kathmandu by storm.
    my mom, cousins and i went and it was alright. namely, that the seats were rickety and the floor was sticky and the hall was odd shaped (forget which one exactly it was) and it was mostly empty. (we went to watch after everyone in this city had … we’re slow like that).

    but, after reading your post and listening to mr. boyfriend’s description of the audience i’m all about it. he told me, unlike the obnoxious new money assholes that have to pick up their iphones halfway through a movie just to say “ma film .. film .. FILM ma chhu kya” those at the nepali halls were much more captivated by the screen, very engaging (clapping!) and so much more pleasant.

    funny how class indicates very little about how classy one can be, eh?

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