Saturday, June 25, 2011

Samzang (Review)

Samzang, the latest film screening at Lugar Theatre in Thimphu, brings to Bhutanese cinema goers a new story line and some promising new faces.

The film tells the story of Samzang, the male protagonist played by debut actor Sonam Thinley, who is caught up in the murder of his wife. He runs away from the police, who suspect him of the murder. Although he has witnessed the murder, he is too dazed to recollect the face of the murderer. With the police in hot pursuit, Samzang flees like a guilt-stricken fugitive. All the while, he is in pursuit of the murderer. But he only has a piece of cloth as evidence to help him.

Meanwhile, Samzang comes across Sangay, a single mother bringing up her four-year-old daughter. Her life portrays a typical single Bhutanese woman bringing up her child with lavish love and tenderness amid punishing routines of domestic chores like tending cattle and fields. Sangay, who is played by Rigzin Choden, one of the producers of the film, provides Samzang a haven at her home from the unrelenting police.

The film reaches its climax when Samzang manages to track down the murderer. And like many Bhutanese films, Samzang has a happy ending that leaves viewers happy, but not perturbed or thinking.

Ugyen Pema, one of the contestants of Miss Bhutan 2010, also a newcomer, plays Samzang’s wife. Sonam Thinley and Ugyen Pema have made a good debut.

Besides Rigzin Choden, the film boasts senior actors like Kesang Tobden and Ulap Lekey.

Director-writer Tshering Penjore could have strengthened the story by putting Sangay’s life in a bigger context. Sangay is a character too strong for the context she is put in.

The story flow is at times disrupted by some hanging scenes. And some dialogues become repetitive.

Samzang delivers an imaginative dialogue that immediately captures the attention of viewers. “In the ancient times, humans were born with two heads, four hands and four legs. They became so powerful that the gods cut the humans into half. That’s why, today people are born with one head, two hands and two legs. And that’s why, right after their birth, they look for their other half. Their life is complete only after they find their other half.” Samzang repeats the dialogue once.

The two-hour long film has English subtitles and four songs. The film has been shot in beautiful locations of Thimphu and Bumthang. And it has managed to capture the beauty of Bhutanese landscape.

Most music for the songs have been mixed and produced in Mumbai, India.

Samzang is produced by Benchen Kenpo and Rigzin Choden

From: Bhutan Observer

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