Timi Sanga: Cheesing it out with you
Samragyee RL Shah as a spunky US returnee pretty much saves this otherwise dismissable fare.
Text by Eliz Manandhar
A rich NRN (Samragyee RL Shah, clearly having problems with her contact-lenses) is in Nepal to holiday and sets out on a trek to Ghandruk. Her trekking-guide happens to be a dashing young man (Aakash Shrestha) she’s already met under bad circumstances a few days ago. After initial squabbles, they decide to put aside their differences and go on the trek (with a little help from her Daddy’s money).
Along the way, they meet a talkative Madhesi (Najir Hussain) who has eyes for the beautiful NRN. The two of them, along with an alcoholic porter (Shishir Rana, also the Director) and the Madhesi (who inexplicably meets them just about everywhere they go!) set out on the exhausting trek. Romance ensues and drama unfolds.
Timi Sanga isn’t a very good film but it works just about well whenever Samragyee RL Shah (sporting a passable American accent and a pretty awesome hairdo) is onscreen and her feline grace keeps the movie going despite obvious plot-holes. She’s the one-to-go-to for the role of an NRN these days and she plays her part with just enough spunk and cynicism.
The supporting-cast do OK and the adorable Najir Hussain could’ve done better with less-cheesy lines from the scriptwriter.
What we do get to marvel at though are gorgeous snow-clad peaks, snow-covered routes, and scenic lodges and hotels that make us want to get off our theater-seats and journey to Ghandruk.
The movie also wears its patriotic heart on its sleeve and tells us that Nepal is a fab country and youngsters should stay here instead of migrating abroad. Agreed!
While the trailer promised us a lot – especially from budding actor Najir Hussain - sadly, his lines aren’t very funny and there isn’t much he can really do about that. He remains pretty much untapped by the filmmaker.
Then, Samragyee RL Shah’s lines in the helicopter at the end of the film will surely make you squirm in discomfort and embarrassment. They sure made me squirm!
Oh, and I need to tell you this: the movie not-so-deftly advertises Ruslan as the best vodka in Nepal. Dear Film, we already know Ruslan is pretty awesome and there was no need to clarify that. Also, watch out for the song sequence where we get to witness a bar crammed with tons of – yes – Ruslan Vodka.
Samragyee RL Shah pretty much carries this film as an affluent and westernized daddy’s girl who resents Nepali traditions and conventions. It’s refreshing to watch her act her part so convincingly and comfortably and it all feels very real. She is growing to be the next-big-thing in the Nepali Film Industry and deservedly so.
Story/Producer/Director: Shishir SJB Rana
Cast: Samragyee RL Shah, Aakash Shrestha, Najir Hussain, Shishir Rana
Screenplay: Shishir SJB Rana, Sakar Ojha, Samundra Upreti, Sushil Chhetri
Choreographer and Fashion Designer Anupam Shrestha appears here as a transgendered villager after having already appeared in a similar role in 2016’s Ma Ta Timrai Hoon. She is an actual transgender person (if you didn’t already know that) and has already acquired celeb-like status in the film community. She’s pretty awesome here and we’re more than willing to see her in more films.