Fulbari: An emotional rollercoaster exploring family dynamic


It had been quite a while since I last watched any Nepali movies. However, recently, as I came across a recommendation for Fulbari on YouTube, I decided to watch it without a second thought. The movie received a lot of praise when it was screed in the halls and featured actors like Bipin Karki, Dayahang Rai, Aruna Karki, Shilpa Maskey and Priyanka Karki.

Fulbari starts on a moving bus as Jay Narayan, a recently retired school teacher played by Bipin Karki, is seen travelling. Suddenly, the scene shifts, transporting the audience to the school compound where Jay Narayan is delivering his farewell speech. After the emotional moment, some students accompany him and leave him at his house, showcasing the affection and respect he garnered as a teacher.

Beyond his role as a beloved teacher, Jay is portrayed as a humorous and romantic husband. His conversations with his wife highlight these aspects of his character, adding depth to his personality.

The movie unfolds during the festive season of Dashain, where all three of Jay’s sons, who live away from him, come visit. The family’s conversations and activities authentically capture the essence of ordinary Nepali households. However, the harmonious atmosphere takes a turn when one of the sons, aspiring to go abroad, seeks financial help. Jay, turning to the older son for support, triggers a conflict within the family, introducing a compelling layer to the storyline.

The depiction of conflict within the family in Fulbari resonates with many Nepali households. Directed by Ram Babu Gurung and written by Upendra Subba, Fulbari is a family drama that prompts serious contemplation on the multifaceted nature of family life.

It revolves around significant themes such as financial challenges within a family and the children’s responsibility towards their parents. These issues are central to the narrative, making Fulbari a thought-provoking exploration of familial dynamics in the context of Nepali society.

Beautiful filmmaking

The strength of Fulbari rests in its presentation. The natural, relevant, and relatable presentation of the story in Fulbari deserves praise. The commendable acting by all the actors and the skilful cinematography plays a crucial role in bringing the narrative to life. Additionally, the background score, featuring the gentle tones of a piano, adds another layer to the emotional impact of the movie. These elements collectively contribute to making Fulbari a compelling and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.

Fulbari is not solely focused on emotional scenes; it also offers viewers glimpses of the stunning landscape of the tea gardens in eastern Nepal. Additionally, the character Balihang, portrayed by Dayahang Rai, engages in comical conversations with various characters throughout the movie, providing a lighthearted and humorous aspect to the narrative. This blend of beautiful scenery and comedic elements adds diversity to the film, offering a more comprehensive and enjoyable cinematic experience.

The relationship between Jay and Balihang in Fulbari exemplifies the bond that good neighbours should share. The conversations between these two characters authentically capture the essence of interactions in east Nepal.

The dialogue and accent are particularly relatable for those from the region, fostering a sense of familiarity. Through the relationship between Jay Narayan and Balihang, the film effectively highlights the significance of having positive and supportive neighbours, making the audience reflect on the value of such connections in community life.

Comparisons with Baghban

While watching Fulbari, it brought back memories of the 2003 Bollywood film Baghban. Both movies delve into the theme of family conflict arising when offspring shirk their responsibilities towards their parents or become indifferent to them.

A moving scene in Fulbari depicts Balihang crying while watching Baghban, strongly suggesting that the Nepali movie may have drawn inspiration from its Bollywood counterpart. Additionally, the similarity in titles is noteworthy, with Fulbari meaning flower garden and Baghban meaning gardener, potentially pointing to a thematic connection between the two films.

The resemblance to Baghban in Fulbari is further evident with the introduction of Shilpa Maskey. Her entrance as Sulochana in the film bears similarities to Salman Khan’s introduction in Baghban. Both Sulochana in Fulbari and Alok in Baghban, portrayed by Salman Khan, are adopted children who enter the story later to serve their adoptive parents. This parallel adds another layer of similarity between the two films, reinforcing the notion that Fulbari may have drawn inspiration from Baghban.

Fulbari is not just a cinematic experience; it functions as a sad lesson for both parents and children on the dynamics that can lead to conflicts within a family. It serves as a preventive narrative, offering insights into potential sources of conflict.

With a runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes, the film is a compelling watch that can evoke deep emotions, possibly bringing tears to the audience. Fulbari comes highly recommended for its ability to raise awareness about the intricate and emotional aspects of family life.

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Prasun Sangroula is an Onlinekhabar correspondent, mainly covering arts, society and sports.

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