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  • This is my first ever movie review. On November 22, 2014, I had a chance to see Nepali movie Jhola during a screening at the Nepali Sahitya Sanjh organized by a local Nepali organization in Madison, Wisconsin. The story writer of the movie, Krishna Dharabai, was also present during the event. He has also acted in the movie.

    I had read the story Jhola before it was made as a movie. As a reader, I was not very impressed with the story; although I deeply appreciated the intent behind it. It shows forceful and brutal immolation of widowed woman on the husband's funeral pyre by a tradition called 'Sati'. The tradition was prevailing in Nepal until around hundred years ago. My thoughts at the time I read the story was that I wished the story was about some contemporary atrocities on women like torturing for being 'witches' or on-going oppression of women or rampant rape problems to name a few.

    Different than the story, the movie at the end does make a connection between inhuman Sati tradition and on the going problems of today. However, I still wish that the story and the movie was about a contemporary shameful practice rather than abolished traditions like Sati or slavery that the mankind has overcome today. Keeping my wish behind, I am going to critic some things about movie itself.

    Cinematography of the movie is strictly OK. I like the fact that the evening scenes of the movie have a dim lighting feeling as there was no electricity during that time in the kind of setting the movie was made. However, the day time scenes could have been more attractive visually; showcasing the natural beauty of the setting. Editing of the movie could be a little better as there were some transitions that showed poor editing. Great care was seen in making the clothes, utensils, and tools used. They match the timeline of the story. Screenplay was superb most of the time however there were some scenes that did not quite work as well as others. Like, falling of the stack of sticks after the news of the child artist's father died and the character of Laxmi Giri gasping for water after she found the Sati is alive work perfectly. However, the the scene when village women show pity on the main character's fate and a drop of water falling on a pond with ripples does not connect very well.

    Casting of characters is overall good. Child artist has done exceptionally well. I think the main character Garima Pant portrays her role very well. However, if I were a casting director, I would have looked for little rougher but innocent looking mountain beauty for the role. Laxmi Giri, the evil looking priest (casted well) and other character actors are excellent. Knowing the author beforehand, I felt like Krishna Dharabasi being in movie a little awkward, I would have casted someone else in his role.

    I think making a movie out of the original story was very worthwhile. The screenplay and the visual stimulation add value to the overall intent. Great job by late Deepak Aalok on screenplay. Direction by Yadav Kumar Bhattarai is good. The movie is outstanding in the pool of existing Nepali movies. It clearly deserves to be an official entry into Oscars from Nepal. However, if we compare to technical excellence and overall quality of world cinema, the movie just barely meets the standards. The message is great but being about an outdated ritual it does not have a very effective blow. I will not be surprised if it does not make to the eight amongst the other 80 or so entry into the Oscars in the foreign film category. However, who knows what the jury of the Oscars think. :)

    Original review at: ola- nepali-movie-review.html
  • bestboybj7 October 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Jhola" recites a promising story of a young wife, Kanchi married to an old ailing husband through the innocent eyes of their son. It's a story of a woman, representing an every women in our society, caged in a social ghetto. It is also a story of struggle of son and his mother to survive in this cruel society. It has shown the ritual called "Sati Pratha" which prevailed till late 1920s. In this ritual, when a husband dies then his wife should burn herself with the pyre of her death husband.

    Movie has 2 plots. In the first plot, a stranger leaves his suspicious bag at Krishna Dharawasi's house, who is actual writer of the story in which writer finds a manuscript written by Ghansyam (Sujal Nepal), son of Kanchi (Garima Panta) and the ailing father (Deepak Chettri. Then Dharawasi starts to read the story from that manuscript and the second plot of the story starts.

    The Second plot is of around 19th century. In the second plot there is Kanchi who is in her late 20s is married to a late 70s old ailing husband as a second wife after the death of first wife. In the story soon the husband dies and nightmare of Kanchi starts. Then story continues with the struggle of a helpless Kanchi and her son.

    Effort of production team, on-screen and off-screen can be seen in the movie. Especially Cinematography is outstanding. Effort of Cinematographer Deepak Bajracharya is really appreciable. Director and creative director is successful in designing set so that viewers can Nepal of 90s. Director has shown effort in bringing the acting out of actors and non-actors in the movie. Among actors, Sajal Nepal, who played the role of a son can be appreciable despite of his age. We can probably see the best performance of actor Garima Panta. And also other veteran actors like Deshbhakta khanal, Deepak Chettri, has done fair to their role. In Overall, Movie is a masterpiece of Director Yadav Kumar Bhattarai flavoured with music by Jeson Kunwar. Movie successful to deliver message from the story written by Krishna Dharawasi.
  • hoittoit025 November 2015
    Jhola is one of the best movie ever I have watched. Here,in this movie(Jhola), Director tried to show how wife used to kill herself, once her husband died, just to wipe off the sin of her husband without caring her age. Though she didn't die in the movie, but literally its showing sati practice of 18th century in Nepal. Sati system was abolished by late Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher Janga Bahadur Rana(JBR). It was really a bad practice,even now there is saying in Nepali " Sati le sarapeko desh Nepal"." Sati le sarapeko desh Nepal" means Goddess crushed country Nepal. Sati means Goddess. I recommend you all to watch this movie "Jhola".