2 Rupaiyan Review: Crime in the Terai

Highlights Nepal

Asim Shah’s 2 Rupaiyan opens with an unappealing hand-raking through a series of what looks like a collection of rare books. The hand carefully plucks out a book and produces a  2-rupee note from within the crisp pages and gradually the camera zooms out, to show that man of fine tastes in his suit; a red satin bandana is around his neck.

The camera then shifts to the note while the vigilant few in the room listen to the man intently. He notes down the number on the note, hands it out to a pair of impatient listeners and dismisses the consortium.

Who are those men and why does the movie revolve around the worthless 2-rupee note? Certainties are that the old man summons the lead characters for collusion similar to any other crime-drama genre movies, save for the big question mark: why the 2-rupee note?

After the hit dance number in lok tune, Kutuma Kutu,  which created a record in itself by crossing 22 million views on Youtube, the much-awaited movie hit the screens on Friday. No sooner had the melody died down, prior to its widespread popularity blasting through the speakers of the public vehicles- echoing throughout the country, the movie itself did a massive business at the box office amounting to a whopping collection of 2 crore rupees on the first week of its release.

Made under the joint production of Asif Shah and Nischal Basnet, the movie features the same duo as protagonists. In addition to the notorious crooks portrayed by Dari and Jureli (Shah and Basnet respectively), a bunch of talented star-cast, which includes Buddhi Tamang (aka Bom Bahadur Tamang), a hot-headed cop, Menuka Pradhan (aka Maya), a married woman and the lover of Dari, Rabindra Jha (aka Parmeshwor Prasad Mandal), a cheeky Madheshi ambulance driver, also dominates the screen with ample dialogues and significant roles to play.

Basnent’s real wife Swastima Khadka has the screen time only for the famous song.

Set in the backdrop of the sultry summer of Jhapa, the movie portrays Dari and Jureli as minor crooks who make a living off the cross-border smuggling of gold. Their modus operandi is to exchange a 2-rupee note for a trunk full of gold bars from north India.

Normally, the process would have been seamless until a particular incident involving the affair between Dari and Maya, the damsel in distress who runs a small inn on the outskirts of Birta chowk. This invites a series of chaotic events and the movie gradually picks up pace.

The first half of the movie focuses on the reckless duo and their activities and how they end up with a 2-rupee note. The conversations between the two friends, Dari and Jureli, are informal to the point of being almost cringe-worthy. However, I did not mind the raunchy sense of humour as I got to laugh.

In the pursuit of tracking the 2-rupee note, begins the dog days of the two friends as they scavenge every nook and corner with the aid of another local crook, Jhimrik Dai. They go through a series of ordeals and many new characters pop up. Each cameo role is significant in the movie and paves new ways for twists and turns in the plot.

Highlights Nepal

The movie takes the audience on a tour of the dark side of the Terai and the local-reigning pradhans who permeate the scenes with their shady business. And just when you think the main puzzle has been cracked, you’re led to another scam that entails another episode of matters going hay-wire.

In a nutshell, 2 Rupaiyan is a complete action-comedy movie which, thankfully, does not end up preaching because let’s face it, the movie-goers don’t expect life-changing morals by spending on a 400-rupee ticket. We go to theatres for entertainment and that is what the movie gives.

By the end of the movie, I was at the edge of my seat awaiting the final verdict, but the director had other plans.

Director: Asim Shah
Actors: Nischal Basnet, Asif Shah, Buddhi Tamang, Menuka Pradhan

Screening at: QFX Cinemas

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