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  Jungle Queen: Breath of Fresh Air  


KATHMANDU, April 8: As dozens of Nepali films wait for their turn to get released for screening, one movie mysteriously slips through the queue system regulated by Film Development Board (FDB) and starts screening at the Gopi Krishna Cinema Hall. Add to that, the chairman of the theatre Uddhab Poudel is completely ignorant how the movie managed to get the screening permission. Jungle Queen is the latest bolt from the blue in Nepali movie industry with the largest posters around the capital but no knowledge of its producer, director or casting crew.

A member of FDB tries to clarify, “This film didn’t go through FDB’s queue system. At the same time, we can’t take any action against the film,” says director, producer and actor Yuvaraj Lama. He adds that anyone can release a Nepali film without the prior permission from the Board if the film fills the gap at its release. “For example Gopi Krishna has three cinema halls that screen Nepali films. If there is a gap in between the release of two consecutive Nepali films, a new film can get in the sideline,” the FDB member says.

“The producer is not allowed to screen such a gap-filler movie in major cinema halls like Bishwa Jyoti or Ganga Hall, where only Nepali movies are screened. However, it can enter other minor cinema halls and continue screening till the halls has no other dates,” Lama concludes.

The entire cast and crew of “Jungle Book” are new to Nepali film industry. Even director B.S. Balami and producer Sita Balami are new names in Nepali silver screen that sees around eight new producers and directors a year. Cinematographer Devendra Giri, choreographer Suresh Chaudhary and scriptwriter LR Bibek Sapkota are all fresh entries.

One official from Ganga Hall predicted that the film is shot on “a personal movie camera by a group of people for fun”. He even suspected the film to be a “C” grade Nepali movie.

But, again its difficult to categorize which Nepali films constitutes “A” grade standards.

Coming back to “Jungle Queen”, it’s not a film made by stupid minds. It’s a serious film, shot in 16mm length, and does not stretch the visual resolution, unlike many Nepali big banner productions. It presents surprising camera works done with careful hands. The whole picture is nicely presented and story well treated.

The poster, quite provocative, is not what the movie is about. The poster of “Jungle Queen” portrays a dirty “C” grade cinema with obscene scenes dominating the theme of the story. The most popular of its poster features the protagonist Zenisha Khadka in a two-piece cloth made from leaves in a submissive position. The movie is far from such storyline.

The film is about a girl who grows up with a guerilla and is far from the city’s lifestyle. She is close to nature and wild animals. The jungle she resides in is looked by a gangster who is fond of illegal hunting of the animals and exporting abroad. Whoever is an obstacle is destroyed. The lead characters rescue the jungle from the grasp of these “bad boys” at the end of the movie.

Jungle Queen offers a fresh new approach to Nepali film fraternity. It is slightly more than regular Nepali family dramas with action scenes. For a change, it has an interesting different story line. Sequences blend properly one after the other and have a pack of never-seen-before fresh action scenes.

New actors in lead role Laxman Dhakal and Zenisha Khadka have come up as promising actors. They don’t overdo anything. Zenisha steals the story with her close-to-character acting skills, probably because of her earlier small screen experience. She was one of the actresses regularly appearing in Prakash Ojha’s Kantipur TV production Tite-Kareli. Actor Laxman Dhakal is good in his character. Songs are not in recommendation of the movie while action scenes look quite sleek.

The movie ends with an idea for another sequel. For now, it’s worth wasting your fifty bucks.

Published on 2009-04-08 12:00:01
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Jungle Queen: Breath Of Fresh Air
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Hi Avash,

Have you really watched the film? It's shit. Only thing good about the movie is actor Ms Khadka. She looks beautiful and charming. Rest is crap

ACTION SCENE: You can even see the strings attached to the actor while he is fighting and jumping. UNACCEPTED.

ACTOR: The first actor who arrests and takes control of the truck, he comes from behind the truck and runs to climb on in, on a highway. A police Inspector doing that. I can't believe. And why the [more]
  - ekcited
I loved the film. Why can´t nepali based directors make movie on such scale !

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