Jhyanakuti movie review: Agenda of change in stereotypical plot

Saugat Malla is back again with a new release this week after Fateko Jutta. Revolving around the complexities of a marriage and the hardships of having an alcoholic husband, Jhyanakuti is a comedy drama that is both refreshing and engrossing to the audience’s eyes.

Jhyanakuti stars Saugat Malla and Benisha Hamal in the lead roles and is directed by Simosh Sunuwar. The movie begins on a promising note that gives the audience an impression that the movie is going to be a treat and even as it reaches the end, the movie never fails to disengage the viewers.

The movie is about Budhhe (Saugat Malla) and Malati (Benisha Hamal), a married couple who constantly get into verbal and physical fights due to Buddhe’s drinking habits and lack of emotional and economic support in order to meet their family’s needs. Due to the constant fights and Buddhe’s reckless habits, Malati decides to leave her husband with her newly born son. However, intoxicated Buddhe does not allow Malati to leave with the son; hence, the son is now Buddhe’s responsibility.

At first Buddhe believes that taking care of the son is easy and succeeds in most of the tasks as well. Slowly, as time progresses, he begins to realise his mistake and the importance of Malati in his life. He then goes on a quest to find Malati. In the process of taking care of his son all by himself and searching for Malati, everything becomes confusing, twisted and baffling. The employment of humour and drama in delineating an issue is one of the constructive aspects of the movie.

The movie should be applauded in trying to delve into issues that rural Nepal is facing from alcoholism to caste discrimination. Director Simosh Sunuwar has portrayed this in a very subtle style that does not interrupt the flow of the movie. Another impressive aspect of the movie is its storytelling; the story is original and has also tried to question gender stereotypes. The scene where Buddhe dresses up in a sari and wears a mask of Malati’s face to look like Malati when the child does not drink milk makes you question if a mother is solely responsible in taking care of children. At the same time many scenes in the movie helps you understand that a father is equally capable of taking care of children and that the traditional gender roles propagated by the society is not true.

In terms of acting, both the lead actors have done a noteworthy job. Saugat Malla steals the show with his wittiness and tremendous acting skills. Although you begin by loathing Buddhe, Malla’s portrayal will make you love the character by the end of the movie. The character has various shades and dimensions which helps in humanising him. Benisha Hamal as Malati is natural and charming. She is a delight to watch every time she appears onscreen. The supporting roles done by Jeevan Bhattarai, Astal Gurung and Puskar Gurung are up to the par; however the same cannot be said for Sumi Moktan’s portrayal as Bhanji. Her character lacks depth for someone who plays a crucial part in making the movie move forward. Her motive in trying to marry Buddhe is not clear and it looks like she is used in the movie just for the purpose of eye candy. This may have been due to sloppy character writing.

Although the movie as a whole is funny, some of the jokes used in the movie are not funny and they definitely need improvement. The use of cheap humour is one of the downfalls of the movie. These jokes that are clearly made for the sake of comic relief hinders the flow of the movie.

The cinematography is excellent and it is one of the attributes that makes Jhyanakuti a good movie. Cinematographer Hari Humagain has done a splendid job in showcasing the beauty of the scenery and the rural area of Nepal. There could have been improvement in the sounds by using apt background sound in accordance to the situation. Colourist Rajendra Moktan is not fully successful in enhancing the colour correction in some of the scenes. Adding on, there could have been a room for improvement in terms of editing as well. Some of the editing mistakes are quite visible and can be labelled.

The music is one of the highlights of the movie. Sanish Sunuwar and Bikash Chaudary have done an impressive job in trying to hook the audience with their catchy music. The song played at the beginning of the movie ‘Timilai Sani’ is catchy and fun whereas the song ‘Bho malai chaidaina’ played at the climax is crucial for the movie to develop and is an emotional song that is bound to melt your heart.

The movie is highly recommended to those out there who want to watch a meaningful movie that has impeccable acting and storytelling.

Published on November 20th, Monday, 2017 11:22 AM

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