September 22 and 23 evenings in two different cities in the USA were completely nostalgic with some entertaining flavor for the resettled folks as the much-awaited movie Suruwaat was screened there. Produced by Organization for Bhutanese Community in America (OBCA), the movie was brought to Syracuse (New York) on the 22 by the Bhutanese Community of Syracuse (BCS) and to Aurora (Colorado) on the next day with the joint effort of the youths and other community members of that city. Suruwaat will be screened in Concord (New Hampshire) in between Dasain and Tihar.
Following its premier show in Phoenix, Arizona in June this year, OBCA has been coordinating with local Bhutanese Communities for the screening of Suruwaat – Ek Naya Jeevan, the first broad-screen movie produced by resettled Bhutanese.
The first community screening was done in Salt Lake (Utah) followed by other shows in Charlotte (North Carolina), Akron (Ohio) and Spring Field (Massachusetts).
Directed by Santosh Ramdam and Buddha Khaling, the film produced with investment of around US $60,000 has a run time of 116 minutes.
The movie, which basically highlights life after resettlement in America drawing enough parallels of refugee camps and nostalgic sentiments of homeland Bhutan, features Bhanu Tiwari, Bhuwan Ranpal and Revica Shankar in lead roles.
The characters and artists involved in the movie are all resettled Bhutanese, according to Bhanu Tiwari.
The movie has also featured beautiful places like Georgia, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago and New York City.
|Directed by||Santosh Ramdam/Buddha Khaling|
|Cinematography||Himgyap Tashi/Arjun Subedi|
|Legal Advisor||Susan Pavlin|
|Music Direction||Mahesh Thulung|
|Lead Cast||Bhanu Tiwari/Bhuwan Ranpal/Revica Shankar|
|Management||Toya Nepal/Chandra Bajgai|
Suruwaat features story of a resettled girl in the U.S.A. Juna (Revica Shankar) begins her new life from an entry-level job. Surprisingly, her lifestyle changes as she starts spending enough time in restaurants before she develops an affair with a guy from Nepal, Bhuwan (Bhuwan Ranpal) who has been in America for years and has a decent living with economic stability.
In the meantime, her longtime boyfriend Dev (Bhanu Tiwari) gets resettled from the refugee camp months after her entry in the U.S. While in the camp, the lovebirds have promised to spend rest of their lives together in America. The boy becomes frustrated after knowing that her girlfriend has dumped him to marry a Nepali fellow. The frustrations on him continue to rise up eventually making him decide to return to Nepal with an aim of readopting his camp life.
At the climax, one of his close friends stops him from boarding the plane assuring his full support in convincing his girlfriend for re-union. What happens next is left to the audience to watch and find out.
In general, 40 percent of the movie features life after resettlement, and the remaining part features the camp lives, Bhutanese issues and other aspects of the Bhutanese folks in a deeper sense.
Over all comments of the people who have watched the premiere show in Arizona until the movie night in Colorado seem positive.
“I like the movie as it has the real story (of elderly v/s youngsters) depicted”, says Dhana Pati Poudel, who watched the movie in Syracuse. However, he seems unsure if the younger folks would love the movie.
Surprisingly, for the young guys like Pashupati Neupaney, the movie has been interesting because of its lively music.
“Aakasai Maa Cheel Hoki Besara has added a life to the movie”, notes Mr. Neupaney with conclusion that the song seems appropriate in context of the picnic scene.
According to Bhuwan Ranapal who watched the movie along with the audiences in Colorado, majority of people seemed enjoying it.
Strength & Weakness
The debutants like Bhanu Tiwari, Revika Shankar and Bhuwan Ranpal have done maximum justice to their roles. Their acting skills, at certain times, seem to be surpassing even the established artists.
The audiences have loved Mahesh Thulung’s music. Santosh Ramdam, who has already directed two movies, has done a better job.
However, many have been disheartened because of the movie’s weak presentation, less impressive cinematography and unattractive fight scenes.
Specifically, Suruwaat has vividly revealed western-style transformations among youngsters and children, compelling aged-ones to lead frustrating lives.
The feeling of ignorance towards parents, fear of isolation among senior citizens, and unhealthy changes on youngsters among others have been well reflected in the movie, besides featuring cultural and religious aspects.
The movie has depicted the whole story without confusing audiences. However, you would definitely feel that some of why’s and how’s have remained unanswered throughout the movie.
Vidhyapati Mishra from Kathmandu contributed to this story.
First look of the Suruwaat movie
The title song – Akashaima