Nepali movie (2008),
based on W. W. Jacobs’s 1902 horror short story The Monkey’s Paw.
Kagbeni is the directorial debut of Bhusan Dahal.
The name of the movie is taken from village Kagbeni situated in the valley of the Kali Gandaki, 2-hour side trek from Muktinath.
The film received mostly glowing reviews from critics. The Himalayan Times hailed it “a benchmark for Nepali films.” While Kunda Dixit of Nepali Times called it “superbly crafted, seductively acted, meticulously directed,” adding, “No longer will we have to be embarrassed about Nepali movies.” Bishnu Gautam of The Rising Nepal joining in the choir, wrote, “It is not easy to bring out an impressive film with new faces, but Bhusan did it brilliantly. All the three protagonists, Saugat Malla (Ramesh), Deeya Maskey (Tara) and Nima Rumba (Krishna) are new faces but nowhere in Kagbeni are they seen as novices… It provides you with the taste of western films including the love scenes, which are free from vulgarities.” Sanjog Rai of The Kathmandu Post, however, was the sole voice in panning the film, suggesting that it “harbingers the end of the digital delusion,” elaborating on the trend of putting it “up for sainthood; it’s almost as if the masses believe it is a beacon of ingenuity, and that it will single-handedly save Nepali cinema.” His complaints included Quest Entertainment’s excessive hype of the film, which had gone for more than a year before the film’s release, the sound, which made him jump “even if the scenes were by no means frightening,” the editing and the poor adaption, which he writes “hasn’t much to sustain anyone’s interest besides the naturally gorgeous scenes shot in Kagbeni, Jomsom, Syang and Marpha.”
Kagbeni was expected to be a trend-setting Nepali film with new taste of technology and story for the Nepali audience, which it did to some extent. Although the cinema halls didn’t see the response as was expected, it started off really good with a new director and actors. Bhusan Dahal was a music video director and this was his debut film. Saugat Malla and Deeya Maskey are well-known theatre actors. Nima Rumba is a popular Nepali singer. The movie was also hyped for its sizzling kissing scene between the two lead actors.
After Kagbeni, there have been some new movies of the same quality. Sano Sansar by music video director Alok Nembang is based on youths in the city and Mission Paisa is an action movie. Dasdhunga, an investigation-based movie on the mysterious death of Madan Bhandari and Jiv Raj Ashrit in 2050 BS, and 13246, a documentary-cum-movie on the decade-long Maoist conflict in Nepal, followed the trend set by Kagbeni. Dasdhunga was directed by Manoj Pandit and 13246 by Apil Bista.
The film was released in Nepal on 10 January 2008. The film got a phenomenal response in the urban areas like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Narayangarh, etc. while the rural areas had decent collections. The movie collected Rs 40 lacs in its opening week, thus creating a new history in the Nepali cinema industry. The film grossed about Rs 3 crores from its theatrical run. The film did well in the international market too, especially in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong where the Nepalese population is in decent number.
Text credit of Wikipedia