Naami The Crisis Queen explores drug addiction’s dark side and the tough journey to recovery

Naami The Crisis Queen
Photo: Screengrab from Naami The Crisis Queen

Each day hundreds of youths leave their home, friends and families, for better opportunities. As of late, this trend is burgeoning in Nepal. The youth are leaving either for education or employment. Naami, played by Gaumaya Gurung, is a teenager among those who are leaving home to pursue further education.

In the urban areas of Nepal, relocating to Kathmandu for job opportunities remains a significant aspiration. It is a dream for many individuals. Naami is filled with happiness and excitement as she prepares to depart for Kathmandu. While her mother is understandably concerned, Naami manages to reassure her, urging her to drink less alcohol. Naami boards a bus bound for Kathmandu, marking the beginning of her journey.

This is how Reet Bohora’s short movie Naami The Crisis Queen begins. 

As Naami enters the hostel room, she finds it messy. She sees her roommate, Shilpee, played by Heena Nagarkoti, smoking. From Shilpee’s conversation with Naami, we can clearly say that she is a drug addict. And now she also wants Naami, an urban girl who is unknown to drugs, to use it.  Naami, however, avoids her. 

Written by Lieutenant Chetan Gurung, Naami The Crisis Queen is a story that revolves around youths leaving their homes with dreams of a better future but finding themselves entangled in criminal activities, leading to the destruction of their lives. The movie provides a realistic portrayal of how individuals can succumb to drug addiction, resulting in the deterioration of their well-being and family relationships. The narrative of Naami and Shilpee serves as a representation of such characters, illustrating the detrimental impact of drug involvement on both personal health and family dynamics.

Harsh realities of drug addiction

Naami finds it increasingly difficult to resist Shilpee’s offer of drugs, ultimately succumbing to temptation one day. This pivotal moment marks a turning point in the film’s narrative. Subsequently, both Naami and Shilpee start using drugs regularly, neglecting their responsibilities and priorities.

As time progresses, their dependence on drugs intensifies, leading them down a path they had never envisioned. The film explores the consequences of their choices, and to unravel the full story, viewers are encouraged to watch the movie.

Naami and Shilpee, portrayed in the movie, engage in thoughtful contemplation regarding their roles as drug addicts. The authenticity of their acting, expressions, and tone of voice remains consistently natural throughout the film. The movie’s strength lies not only in the quality of the performances but also in its exploration and discussion of the various serious aspects of drug addiction that demand attention and consideration. It serves as a poignant reminder of the broader societal issues associated with substance abuse.

The movie sheds light on the societal stigma often associated with drug addicts and individuals who have undergone the process of recovery. Gauri Malla’s role as a doctor in Naami The Crisis Queen becomes instrumental in teaching the audience a valuable lesson on how to treat and understand drug addicts.

In a conversation with Naami’s mother, played by Pashupati Rai, the film emphasises the significance of love and support from the family in the recovery process of a drug addict. This portrayal shows that, beyond judgment and stigma, it is the care and encouragement from close ones that a person struggling with addiction truly needs to overcome their challenging phase.

The movie delves into another significant subject – the factors contributing to relapse among individuals who have achieved sobriety.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Photo: Screengrab from Nami The Crisis Queen
Photo: Screengrab from Naami The Crisis Queen

However, despite the important message and narrative, the film is not without its issues. Firstly, during Naami’s first experience of smoking a cigarette after accepting Shilpee’s offer, her portrayal as a first-timer does not appear entirely natural. This aspect could be improved for better authenticity.

Additionally, the film explicitly shows the process of consuming drugs in some scenes. Such depictions might inadvertently serve as an instructional guide and could potentially be triggering, leading to relapse in vulnerable audiences. The makers of the short film must be mindful of these elements to ensure a more responsible portrayal of the subject matter.

Additionally, the movie also has technical glitches, with noticeable sound issues that may affect the viewing experience.

Despite these drawbacks, the 41-minute-long movie is deemed worthy of watching. The deep message it conveys raises awareness about the alarming consequences of drug addiction.

The movie may resonate particularly well with individuals who have experienced involvement with drugs. It is recommended for teenagers, families, and those embarking on new opportunities away from home, as it offers insights into the challenges associated with substance abuse.

Naami The Crisis Queen stands as a relevant and impactful watch for audiences concerned about the societal issues surrounding drug addiction.

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

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