In the first few minutes of director Prachanda Man Shrestha’s Love Sasha, the movie tries to make a case for its existence.
When it happened again at the beginning of the end credit roll, I was left wondering if we have become so cynical towards rom-coms–there have been far less “romantic” movies made now, compared to the last decade–that the movie, a love story between a young couple, needed to spell out that it was for “those who have loved and lost.”
However, it is a pleasant reminder that the movie, which does away with awkwardly put together leads and love arcs, itself stands as a testimony that we have, in fact, not threaded in that direction.
As we are languidly introduced to Prahlad (Karma) and Sasha (Keki Adhikari) and the courtships and romantic flourishes that follow, a vague familiarity sets in, it is like seeing your friends fall in love, all over again.
It also helps that there have not been many movies made in Nepal that are as silently trendsetting as Love Sasha.
At around the midway through the movie, there is a scene in which Sasha and Prahlad are talking over frozen yogurt during the early phase of their courtship.
It’s the kind of scene that recurs throughout the movie where the leads (along with their friends) talk about everything from the nature of art to the significance of marriage.
But during this particular scene, there is a fleeting moment of tenderness in which the two open up to each other on their vulnerabilities. At one point, Sasha is dripping with tears while Prahlad talks about what makes him cry. But the act seems more like a nod to the communion of two similar souls than that of catharsis for Sasha.
The movie is made up of stimulating moments like these, generating interest and concern for its leads, that comes from director Shrestha’s rich involvement with the medium, without being excessive.
Love Sasha achieves this fine balance between engagement and contrivances with moments of real tenderness and an overall command of its mood and tone.
However, this composed jauntiness that the movie wears, which gives it a characteristic solmeness, is somewhat overthrown by the almost stock-type images that make up most part of the movie. It also does not help that most scenes play out in bars and cafes and is peppered with elements like MacBooks and takeaway coffee.
And we’re not even counting the omnipresent Vespa.
To be fair, even the lead characters do not run deep; Prahlad is only shot in hotel rooms and we know nothing about him other than his occupation and the recent heartbreak. But that does not make Love Sasha any less engaging.
Published on January 18th, Wednesday, 2017 3:01 PM
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