Rani calling Sagar a ‘superman’ might go unnoticed to many members of the audience, but the term, for a section of critical watchers, is the one that defines the movie. This week’s release, Love Station, is a superman’s story, where everything is possible for the powerful hero. This is more a drama, with some romantic flavours than ‘a love story’.
The plot of the movie is far from reality. It is not everyone’s everyday story, but the story of extraordinary events that take place in extraordinary people’s lives. More importantly, the dramatic incidents happen in a series where one becomes the cause for another. From exposition to denouement, the movie presents a number of unrealistic dramas.
A wealthy man kidnaps a newborn to raise her as his own daughter so that she will untangle a legal knot after decades; but he kills the kidnapper, why? He says he should not leave any witnesses; but cannot notice the strongest witness living along with him at every step, why? Can a man spend his years to check women’s birthmarks in their chests? These are some of the hardest questions the plot fails to answer.
But, perhaps, their answer is simple—everything is possible here because it is the superman’s story.
The heroine calls the hero a superman when he shows her a way to get out of the obsession of her cheating fiancé. For her, he becomes a superman for the next two times at least. At the next level, for the critical audience, the screenwriter and director becomes a ‘superman’ for making everything possible in front of the hero. It is close to a fairy tale and supernatural stories than a realistic work of fiction.
Like a fairy tale, the movie makes it clear in the beginning what happens at the end—the hero turns victorious; the villain and all ‘bad’ people are dead; every problem is solved; and the story ends with hope. Presenting the formulaic plot is essentially a challenge for the movie team.
To cope with the challenge, the movie has adopted some figurative tools of literature. For example, there is a tree that significantly appears in the beginning and the end. It is a symbol for the family’s hope that their kidnapped child will return one day. Along with the image of the tree is a sound image, the mother singing a lullaby for the child. Whereas the singing actually takes place in the beginning, it is played in the background in a crucial scene at the end. For a poetic critic, these two are strong connectors to unify the plot.
A song of the movie is heavily ironic. Whereas the heroine is about to marry the villain, of course “as a compromise”, the hero, who works as a professional club singer, sings “how could I keep my eyes open” amidst the wedding attendants. Such a sentimental song during the merrymaking, perhaps, is not a mistake, but an irony to show the tension between the hero’s inner and outer worlds.
Likewise, there is a dramatic irony about the union between the lost daughter and her parents. Till the union scene, the audience members already know their relationship, but the characters themselves are in dark.
Such frequent use of literary elements in a movie is both a problem and a prospect. It gives a sense that commercial films are also becoming a part of the intellectual art whereas many of them are unlikely to be understood by the general audience.
While some apparently mismatches can be understood as ironies artistically, some gaps of the movie are essentially shortcomings. It begins as a documentary, with a description of similarities and differences of Darjeeling of India and Ilam of Nepal. This is a poor beginning, as good movies show what it is than telling the audience. Likewise, the movie explicitly tells that the tree is a symbol of hope–when it is told, it becomes a clarity, not a symbol.
Following the description, is a juxtaposition of two birth scenes, which are lamely and confusingly connected to each other. Similarly, the movie ends in a silence of around 30 seconds after an unnecessarily lengthened scene.
Pradeep Khadka acts well in his “superman” role; he has presented himself as a gentle, handsome, loving, intelligent and witty singer in the movie. Corresponding to him is Jassita Gurung, who suits the role of a carefree urban girl. However, her dialogue delivery at times is poor, either because of her own inability or the scriptwriter’s underperformance. Likewise, in the first few scenes, she has worn heavy makeup, and it hides her real face.
Prakash Shah as a villain has tried his best to give a rough look in his face. But, he cannot show the changes of his role—from the heroine’s fiancé to the cunning villain—as demanded by the plot. Ramesh Budhathoki, Priya Rizal and Siru Bista have acted average for their supporting roles.
Rabi Dangol, Kalu Rana and Dinesh Kaphle have been successful to make the audience laugh with their comic appearance.
When the movie opens, the audience is shown beautiful scenes of Darjeeling and Ilam; and some songs have been shot abroad. However, the camerawork is not better than average as there was enough room for showing dramatic actions more artistically. The action scenes look totally stereotypical.
There are three songs in the movie; and each is relevant to the plot. However, the movie is poor in terms of background music.
The source of Love Station is a fantasy world whereas its destination is common people, especially the youth, living in a world where supermen like Sagar do not exist. The distance between the two worlds is both a strength and weakness of the movie: whereas it gives the audience an escape from the reality and realistic problems, it does not help them get an insight about their own life or whatsoever.
Go watch the movie and experience it on your own.
Genre: Love story
Runtime: 120 minutes
Screenwriter/Director: Ujwal Ghimire
Cast: Pradeep Khadka, Jassita Gurung, Ramesh Budhathoki, Siru Bista, Rabi Dangol, Priya Rizal, Prakash Shah
Published on April 7th, Sunday, 2019 12:06 PM
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