The year 2016 was a notable year for cinema. While most filmmakers held on dearly to the derivative past, serving up familiar genre fares, several promising filmmakers debuted with movies that were remarkable in terms of merit and cultural significance.
The high point for Nepali cinema in 2016 was, perhaps, the debut of director Min Bham Bham. His debut feature Kalo Pothi not only received awards and recognition at top festivals worldwide, it also did significantly well in the box office running for several weeks.
The year also saw few other debutante directors who were eager to breakthrough the rampant mediocrity in Nepali cinema. In November, director Pradeep Bhattarai debuted with Jatra. Its rib-tickling humour was backed up by top performances from its lead. Similarly, Apil Bista’s Jhumkee and Nilu Dolma Sherpa’s How Funny, both debut features from the directors, were also notable in their approach.
The year also saw filmmakers try to break away from their pattern. Most notable in the regard was Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Muskhil. The deceptively simple movie saw Johar self-effacingly embracing the signature camp from his earlier movies while transitioning to a more valid form of cinema. Similarly, director Ram Babu Gurung took a bold step forward by making Purano Dunga in which his signature humour was skewed in the favour of a distinctly tragic tale.
A retrospective of the year wouldn’t be complete without talking about Chhakka Panja. The success of the movie revived the slump in the local box office.
Here, we look at some of the most remarkable movies of the year; some in terms of their merit and others for lowering the bar even further.
(Click on the film’s name to read review.)
A triumph for Nepali cinema
First time’s a charm
Breaking away from the pattern
The same old…
The low point