Dhaari Nhaaba – a movie to look out for

If you are a Bhutanese movie buff, you are in for a treat.

The latest Bhutanese movie to hit the local theater is Dhaari Nhaaba – one of the recipients of the Prime Minister’s Award in the recent 2018 Bhutan National Film Awards – that premiered last week in Thimphu.

The movie is about parenting good values. It almost speaks out to you that good begets good. And those good values are born at home.

Now, such a humane message has all the ingredients to make a movie boring. But veteran director Kesang P. Jigme has used all the magic tricks in his bag to weave an interesting narrative.

Adding warmth to the story is veteran actor Gyem Dorji who plays the role of a poor farmer living in the remote village of Phobjikha in Wangduephodrang. When his ailing wife dies, he has to take care of his two sons by himself. But he does it with grace and does not let poverty get in the way. He sells the last of his cattle to educate his younger son while the elder volunteers to come out of school.

When the younger son, played by actor Chencho Dorji, graduates and finds a good job in Thimphu, he brings his father to live with them. The father develops a special relationship with his granddaughter – played by the cutest star of the Bhutanese film industry in seven-year-old Kuenzang Lhamo.

The grandfather-granddaughter duo becomes best friends and share moments that would grind you to tears. They essentially replace the hero-running-behind-his-love scenes that have become trademark of the usual Bhutanese movies courtesy to Bollywood and Korean movies that continue to inspire local romantic comedies. So, Bhutanese moviegoers can expect to watch a movie with a difference.

It is difficult not to admit that the movie is a moral-trodden work of art but you would find it difficult to leave your seat because the director has done his homework, and delivered. Typical of his style, his signature scenes of kerosene lamps and the full moon light up the cinematographic experience.

During the recent National Film Awards, the movie bagged all the coveted category of cash awards winning the best movie for Culture, Dzongkha Language and Youth apart from the Prime Minister’s Award. The cash prize the movie bagged totaled an impressive Nu 1.2 million.

Director Kesang P. Jigme is the director of Serga Mathang, which was voted the best movie and took away the debut Prime Minister’s Award last year. This is his 14th movie as a director and his other popular works include Ata Yongba, Sangwai Charo and Sem Ghi Jurwa.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu