A passenger filled highway coach traveling from Eastern Nepal to Kathmandu hits one delay after another, the first of those delays due to a bandh. After a lengthy stop, they are able to ...
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A passenger filled highway coach traveling from Eastern Nepal to Kathmandu hits one delay after another, the first of those delays due to a bandh. After a lengthy stop, they are able to bypass the bandh as they masquerade as a wedding party, as bandhs unofficially allow wedding vehicles through their protests. The passengers are able fortuitously to come up with this masquerade as the one acting as the bride is indeed going to Kathmandu to get engaged. The stories of those on board, some whose the delay help, some whose it hurts, are told. The "bride", medical student Pooja, is torn between marrying her intended fiancé Abiral, just returned from the United States and who she's known since they were children, and her lover Ronit. The "groom", Pratiek, whose parents do not approve of his homosexual orientation, has a new boyfriend Vishal, who is facing a personal crisis with his transgendered roommate, Deena. The "wedding planner", Manoj, who is in the military, is rushing to see his ...Written by
The first Nepali-directed film was produced in 1964 and it has taken nearly 50 years for a Nepali film to be shown at a major global film festival. See more »
The best cinematic introduction to everyday Nepal
There have been a few little cinematic gems portraying life in the developing world in recent years. Add this as one of the best in the genre. And if there is one movie you watch about Nepal to understand its people and their everyday lives, make it Highway. A film that neither exoticizes Nepal for its beautiful landscape nor exploits it for its poverty and civil war, Highway is the most authentic film to portray Nepal in its diversity, hopes and difficulties.
A bus full of people leaves from Eastern Nepal to Kathmandu, the capital. Along the way, they are stopped several times because of bandhs – a form of protests where the highways are blocked and traffic brought to a half. We meet several characters on the ride, each with their own story and urgency to reach Kathmandu on time. A young woman can't decide between her boyfriend and the fiancé who has arrived from the US to marry her (and has been involved in a hit-and-run accident). A Gurkha soldier rushes to his wife in time to try out a fertility potion he's swallowed (not knowing she's kept some secrets from him). A gay man hopes to reunite with his estranged lover; and the bus driver knows the woman he loves may be forced back into prostitution if he doesn't show up with money for her sick child.
The scenes oscillate between the bus ride and their unique and morally confounding stories, deftly using with flashbacks. Using his experience at BBC radio, the director uses on-the-spot sounds complemented by some beautiful camera-work. The bus ride itself serves as a metaphor for this beautiful but impoverished country's emergence from a decade long civil war, its faltering peace process, and the resilience and hopes of its people. Highway is easily the best film from the country to date.
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