Kagbeni, when wishes come true

The 2008 movie Kagbeni is one of the trend setting movies in the Nepali film industry because of its different storyline and presentation. Loosely based on W.W. Jacob’s horror short story “The Monkey’s Paw”, Kagbeni, is a directorial debut by Bhusan Dahal. The movie got its name from the place ‘Kagbeni’ situated in the valley of Kali Gandaki in western Nepal. The movie gives a warning to be careful of what you desire. “When wishes come true” is the tagline of the movie.

The story begins with Krishna coming back to his village from Malaysia to meet his friends Ramesh and Bishnu. On their way to the neighboring village of Marpha, Ramesh and Krishna take rest for the night in a cave. A strange hermit appears there whom Krishna offers the blanket he brought from Malaysia for his aunt. The hermit grateful for the hospitality gives him a monkey paw and tells him that the paw is magical and could fulfill one’s wishes. However, if anyone other than the owner uses it, it will cause great disaster. After finishing their work in the village they come across a bhatti (bar) where Ramesh finds out that the girl his friend came to marry is the same girl whom he loved. On the way back, they rest inside the same cave for the night. Ramesh wakes up in the middle of the night and taking the paw from Krishna, wishes to get married to Tara, the girl he loved.

What follows next is the price he has to pay for the fulfillment of his desire. Few years of happy and blessed life soon gets over when one night, his once dead (as everyone thought him to be after falling off a cliff) friend Krishna mysteriously appears again. Next morning, Krishna disappears the way he came leaving the monkey’s paw behind for Tara to find. The cycle of the asking the wishes and paying the price enters their life once again, this time with a bigger tragedy for them to handle. The movie has a mysterious end.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szQcnPkTjj8[/youtube] The storyline and the presentation of the movie are good and different from the typical Nepali movie that usually followed the Bollywood movies of the 90s and 2000. The actors although being new in the world of silver screen have done justice to their roles. The two protagonists, Saugat Malla and Diya Maskey, are the renowned names of the theater world which explains their brilliant performance. Although being totally new to the acting world, with a few exceptions of performing in his own music videos, the Nepali singer Nima Rumba have made up to his co-stars.

The film, with a mix of horror and drama along with the breathtaking views of the village of Kagbeni, keeps its audience entertained. The movie opened a way to the digital world setting a new trend for the Nepali cinemas and it was financially successful as well.