Were Nepali multiplexes unfair to Nikhil Upreti?

Sep 04, 2015

“United We Stand, Divided We Fall!!!” This phrase may appear as a cliché, but it stands out, given the current crisis faced by our nation, Nepal. But we are not here to discuss political issues. Let’s leave them to those in power. In this blog we want to shed some light on the disparity shown towards our Nepali movies by the so called “multiplexes”. The multiplexes consist of Big Movies in City Center located at Kamalpokhari, Fcube Cinemas in KL Tower at Chabahil, Q’S Cinemas in Rising Mall at Durbar Marg, Cine-de Chef in Civil Trade Center at Sundhara and Quest Entertainment ( Kumari Hall at Kamalpokhari, Jai Nepal at Narayanhiti Marg and Qfx Civil Mall at Sundhara).
Recently, a movie named “Bhairav” starring Nikhil Upreti, as a brave cop was released. It was expected to do good business, owing to the fact that it portrays the story of a brave cop, at a time when the dreadful incident of Tikapur, Kailali was still fresh on our memories. Though not just for business, but it was expected to raise awareness in our society on the role of the brave policemen and also motivate our bold policemen. However, the so called rulers of the movie show times, or multiplexes to be precise, decided to remove “Bhairav” from its playlist. Maybe, they wanted to make way for the upcoming Bollywood movie, Phantom or the highly anticipated Nepali movie, Resham Filili. It seems that the multiplexes only care about the movies that they deem to yield good income.
The film fraternity of Nepal is governed by the multiplexes. However, as they say there are two sides to a coin. Some may call this act of multiplexes a tyranny but many may call it a business.

Bhairav movie trailer

What was seen on Tuesday was not something new. Multiplex’s interest influences the whole of the film fraternity. The multiplexes had been turning a blind side towards many Nepali movies even before Bhairav. The chances of listing Nepali movies on the playlist of multiplexes, other than the interest of the producers appears to be slim. With the passing of time and advancement of technology, Nepali film industry is going through a period of revolution. The reach of multiplexes the world over is vastly increasing and they determine the success of the movies. Similar is the state in Nepal, however in our nation they opt to show Hollywood and Bollywood rather than our Nepali movies. This is the reason why our film fraternity are in the shadow of the foreign greats like Bollywood and Hollywood.

Interview with Nikhil Upreti and crowd reception

Such is the case with the Nikhil Upreti starrer ‘Bhairav’ which was removed from all major multiplexes within two days of its release, for reason unknown.
Over the period of 50 years, the development of Nepali movies has been at a snail’s pace and to make matters worse, the multiplexes assert their dominance by not listing Nepali movies in their show times. Some members of Nepali film industry even resorted to launch a protest in which they demanded that any foreign films be provided a quota system in which the foreign movies be released a week after it was released abroad. But the demand fell into deaf ears and its implementation seems to be a distant cry. They had even submitted a referendum to the Film Development Board regarding the matter but to no avail.
When the digital technological process was introduced in Nepal, a deal was struck in which Nepali movies had to be played without any terms and conditions. But the deal was rescinded before three months of its inception. 12 years back there were around 400 cinema halls across the nation which has now declined to a mere 150 as per Film Development Board.

Bhairav Reception

Not only in Kathmandu, multiplexes have been established in places like Bhairawa, Butwal, Narayangadh, Pokhara Dharan, Birtamod. Multiplexes have become famous due to the fact that they have many theaters in their premises.

Coming back to ‘Bhairav’, the audiences adored the movie but despite that it was removed in just a couple of days. When our Nepali movies are treated as inferiors compared to the foreign movies, how can we expect the fraternity to grow? Some may argue that Nepali movies do not have the quality as compared to Bollywood and Hollywood. We, at hernajam are not denying such claims. We just want a fair chance to be given to everybody.
Nikhil Upreti had made a comeback after a long hiatus but still he was subjected to the atrocity of the multiplexes. Bhairav had been collecting more compared to the other releases. On the first show of QFX Civil Mall, Bhairav had collected Rs. 68000, but still the owners of the multiplexes chose to remove it. This made Nikhil Upreti furious, so much so that he filed a petition at the Producer’s Association. But similar situation has been faced by many producers and actors of our nation, alike.
The pre-existing idea that the Nepali movies are not up to the par and showing it at their theaters will infer losses on the multiplex maybe the contributing factor. The multiplexes preach for nationalism but are practicing hypocrisy which has brought the Nepali movie industry in a critical state. This is no less than a tyranny.
We, at hernajam, have pledged to support our Nepali talents and so came up with this blog. And for your information, Bhairav has collected more than Rs. 2 crores . So, the people should be aware that the landscape of Nepali movie has changed dramatically. As they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Nepali movie has shown the potential for improvement- Loot, Kabaddi, Kagbeni being some of the examples. The multiplexes should at least give Nepali movies an equal chance and not weigh them in comparison to Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

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*Disclaimer: The information provided above has been collected from various sources on the internet and includes the personal opinion of the writer as well.