Nepali movies are crawling its way out of the cliches. Some come out as a winner while other just wish they could. Sadly Batch No. 16 doesn’t impress you much.
The movie was released on March 11th, 2011 and the tremendous hype surrounding the movie, I expected Jai Nepal to be packed with audiences while I rushed my way through the traffic jam on the evening show of the day it was release. But my anticipation was put to halt when I saw only handful of people in the front stall and less than that in the rear. Maybe, the previous shows were full, I hope.
The movie starts off well, with great shots of various places like Mustang with a nice song as the credit rolls in. But then the excitement stops there. Two friends who are officers of APF(Armed Police Force) rescue a guy from bunch of kidnappers who carries sophisticated guns but looks no more than some local “tyabe”. The two protagonists are later assigned for a mission named “Batch No. 16” to arrest world’s most wanted criminal “hakim” played by Anup Baral who with his sidekicks are apparently in Pokhara, planning something big. The 2 friends manage to get hold of the criminal and it is after here the story takes a different turn with 2 friends. But hold on, as advertised massively, this movie is about anything but APF.
The movie somewhat holds your attention during the first quarter until Anup Baral gets killed (or maybe I thought so because I liked watching Anup Baral). Frankly speaking, I felt betrayed because the promos, posters and every publicity related to this movie showed Anup Baral as the main negative character in the movie when clearly that’s not the case and one reason I went to watch this movie was Anup Baral himself since I had enjoyed his acting skills in Das Dhunga and Ek din Ek Raat but too bad he gets killed soon after the movie starts. However, the little part he has in the movie, he enacts with perfection. Arpan Thapa, who is in the negative role was a delight. A star in the making for sure. Compared to many other actors in Nepal, his dialogue delivery was great, making the audience laugh at places with dialogues like “tauko ma hanyo bhaney manche pagal hundaina…*pause*.. tara malai k matlab”. He has the best lines in the movie. I am looking forward to his next movie Sick City. I am not sure if I liked Suman Singh because some places he was good and at some place he was kind of awkward, like in the case where he is shown with his family after he rescues that guy from the kidnappers. Sushma Karki looked has a long long way to go as an actress. She really needs to improve her English speaking because she sounds really funny when she speaks. I heard something like “average news” when she was meaning to say “Everest news”. And I don’t understand why she has to make funny nepali accent like she spoke English her whole life?? And whats with all the skins shows when clearly it only turns you off. Even the kissing scene and those cyber-sansar poses when its not even needed or when the audiences are least interested. Other actors including the wife and the son of Suman’s have little scope.
The story was okay but too many loopholes in the movie leaves the audiences in quandary. Too many question runs through your head after the movies like – Why is Suman Singh running away after Anup Baral is killed and he shot Arpan Thapa right on the chest and why did he have to run away like he was the main culprit, how did the family survive the fire in the house, why doesn’t Suman Singh enter their house and why was he running to get into the city and once he is in the city he roams around uselessly and so on. You will have to watch the movie for more questions.
Plus, there are so many unwanted scenes like the kiss scene between Arpan Thapa and Sushma Karki which was clearly not needed, the scene where Suman Singh leaves his car and runs towards the hospital where his wife was in labor pain. The editing of the movies at some places have gone haywire and the story doesn’t hold the pace where needed.
Too many unanswered questions like these leave this movie tasteless. The songs are mediocre and don’t stay with you very long after the movie.
One the positive side, the climax was shot well and director has tried his best to achieve with whatever was available including the story itself.