Down Memory Lane: Romantic Nepali Movies

February 3, 2014 , by Sewa Bhattarai, Leave your thoughts
Down Memory Lane: Romantic Nepali Movies » My Dreams Mag


Today Nepali movies are in a difficult niche. Urban youngsters turn up their noses at them, and movies only get made for rural audiences, which do not stray from tried and tested formulas. This has many lamenting the fate of Nepali cinema today. But there was a time when Nepali movies united the Nepalis by their beauty, novelty, and ethos. When they meant the world to Nepalis. The best Nepali movies told our tales, in our languages, and stirred the emotions of our hearts. Here is going down memory lane and reliving movies from an era that people still yearn for. DREAMS team recommends two favourite Nepali movies each that are representative of Nepali cinema at its best. These are just a sample, there are many, many more romantic Nepali movies you can enjoy in this season of love.

(Warning: Plenty of spoilers)



Muna Madan


Arguably the single most popular book in Nepali language, a movie based on this musical play sank without a trace. And yet, connoisseurs say that the movie succeeded in bringing the evergreen work of literature to life. A story of adventure, a story of humanity that transcended artificial caste barriers, a story of the magical land of Lhasa – a country full of gold, and most importantly, a story of eternal, undying love that transcends the barriers of space and time. Nepal’s answer to Romeo and Juliet has it all. It speaks of the harshness of Nepali life back when it was written, the necessity to migrate for work, and the pangs of separation that make your life hell, but the expectation of meeting your love again that makes the wait worthwhile. If you are too lazy to read the book, go watch the movie.



nepali movie Lahure

A young soldier who tries his luck in love one last time before he goes off to war. And succeeds. A young tomboyish girl who finds her life suddenly changed by a handsome soldier. She loses her tomboyishness to become womanly, but little does she know that she has taken on a persona for life. She becomes a mother, Lahure speaks of home truths in Nepali society: of soldiers going to far off lands to fight wars not their own. Of the desire of sons to follow in their father’s “heroic” footsteps. Of the loneliness of their womenfolk left behind. Of the perils of unwed motherhood in a conservative society. Of the power of love that keeps the flames burning despite difficult circumstances. Lahure is a historic keepsake that also tells the timeless love stories that happen in any age.







Ko hola mero mayalu? Sang Karishma Manandhar in her debut as a full-fledged heroine. Little did she know that it was she who would become the Mayalu (beloved) of all of Nepal. The young, fresh story of the young, fresh couple Bhuwan KC and Karishma Manandhar had just the right mix of novelty, romance and beauty. The classic tale of a village girl and a city boy who meet with all round opposition before they are able to unite, and love succeeds. This story had the viewers rooting for the underdog love that conquers all opposition. That the couple went to become superstars of the Nepali film industry a few years later makes this movie even more special and memorable.



DarpanChayaDarpan Chaya

In an age when Nepali cinema had gotten into a rut with its formulaic heroes and villains and item dance heroines, Darpanchhaya gave us something completely different. This college romance between one blind person, one bad boy, and one vivacious girl was tastefully and realistically executed, going far from the usual formulas. In Darpanchhaya the hero was vulnerable, the heroine was formidable, and the story was completely unexpected. With its picnics, cultural dances, ragging, and boys versus girl arguments, Darpanchhaya captured the teenage spirits of college goers. Even people who never watched Nepali movies flocked to the cinemas for this memorable movie. The song Jindagani Darpanchhaya went on to become a staple of cultural events, and still is.




Kusume-rumalKusume Rumal

Perhaps this is the movie which brings up the most dramatic memories for Nepalis of a certain generation. Stories of houseful halls for days, people willing to stand in aisles to watch, and of hooligans venting their anger by stoning film halls, stories of people crying buckets, all trail this enigmatic movie. Who can forget a young and naive Bhuwan KC, so desperate after a radiant Tripti, that he ironed his clothes with coal inside a lota? Of Bhuwan KC trying to teach Tripti to sing in the correct folk tone, all the time assuming she is in love with with him. And, when his heart breaks, of the heart wrenching song Feri pani mero kehi gunaso chhaina. Naive, innocent love bested by a more mature and sophisticate one is perhaps a story that we can all relate to. (And not to forget, when you look back at this film, you realize that there were days when Udit Narayan used to act).


Dui Thopa Aansu

This classic movie gave birth to perhaps the most popular children’s song in Nepali films. Jun ta lagyo tara le, with its two fairies clad in white, stole our hearts instead. This was a story of motherly love that overwhelms all other kinds of love, and of affections that can arise even when there are no blood relations. An accident brings the two fairies close, and fate later tears them apart, which no one is prepared for. Written by Haribahkta Katuwal, the song about two drops of tears spoke of loneliness, of sorrow, and of consoling yourself when there are none beside you. And truly, when life takes away all that you love, you only have the two drops of tears to console you. This movie tells you not just about the power of love, but also about how powerful losses can shape your life.




The word Trishna itself means desire, and indeed it is about desires: the hero’s long held desire for love, the heroine’s for emotional closure. In its portrayal of women, Trishna was perhaps far ahead of its time. The heroine Rupa Rana goes off to Bombay, adventuring at a time when women rarely left the house alone. Kristi KC’s Gayatri, meanwhile, is an independent woman not afraid to express her love. Add to this the heady mix of a childhood love, which, if fulfilled, would betray a childhood friendship and duties. And you have all the ingredients for a powerful drama that is not out of date even decades after it came out. Among its very evocative songs, the one that started with haunting sarangi strings is especially notable, and will linger long after you hear it.


Prem Pinda 1995 Watch Nepali Movie OnlinePrem-Pinda

Again, another beloved Nepali epic turned into a movie, this time with much more commercial and critical success. In an era of beauties with perfect, doll like faces, Sunny Rauniyar and her mismatched teeth added a freshness that, no wonder, captured the Raja Saheb’s heart. But unbeknownst to him, the beauty had fallen for a humble servant. The mature Neer Shah falling at young Sunny’s feet, begging for her love, is perhaps one of the most memorable moments on Nepali cinema. But disregarding it, Sunny chooses to walk on for hours towards her love, not noticing that her heels are pierced and bleeding. And makes it look plausible. In the meantime, there are romantic dances in a flurry of red and gold, and midnight walks with men of kohl-lined eyes, and precious black and white photos of dress-up passed on as tokens of love. This is the story that, despite your misgivings, will make you believe in love all over again.


Rajesh Hamal has done so many movies for the masses that one forgets his classy movies. Deuta is one such movie. The hooligan played by Rajesh Hamal tries and fails to win the heart of his lady love, even going to the length of fighting the village don for her. And yet, when he realizes that her heart is with the simple, soft spoken Shrawan Ghimire, he gives his all to unite them. Even his life. This story of a triangular (or a rectangular, if you count the village don) romance shoots other questions at the viewer: what does it take to be a good person? Can you sin all your life and be redeemed by one act of goodness? Is a life full of goodness enough to elevate you to the status of a God, or are only superhuman works of courage rewarded? If you are loved more after your death than in your life, does it count? The viewer will be puzzling about these long after the movie closes by identifying a “deuta”.




With the advent of movies like Loot, Dhanda, Sanghuro, Sungabha, Sourya, and many others, Nepali cinema seems set to break of the rut that it was in. Today we have in our repertoire films about superheroes, homosexuals, clever goons, and many more. We hope that this phase of experiments will also give us new and experimental love stories, which will break out of formulaic love and explore new frontiers, and be as memorable as the ones we have listed.



Text By: Sewa Bhattarai

Send us your comments/suggestions: feedback@mydreamsmagazine.com


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