Finally, after more than a month of wait and some dialogues of the movie makers with Nepal Army and Censor board, Badhshala got released in Nepali cinemas from Baishak 6 as the release date of Falgun 25 gone in vain due to censor board’s indecision and Nepal Army’s objection. The movie was already released uncensored in Australia and some other countries and I too had written the first review based on what my friends from Australia conversed to me. Here is what I felt about the movie after watching.
Badhshala is a story of torture inside an army barrack (Bhairab Nath Gand) during the emergency period due to maoists insurgency. The story being based on the books like Adhyara 258 dinharu by Jitman Basnet, Manav Badhshala by Krishna KC and an anonymous article written by an anonymous Army shows an innocent teacher who is taken to Badshala -(meaning slaughter house in english) for accused of being a maoists, face the humiliation and his hope to go alive from the barrack dies eventually. The army batallion is shown to contain many detainees both innocent civilians and maoists cadres, who are forced to commit themselves of being maoists by signing a paper written by the army and are ultimately killed in a jungle.
Movie also depicts stubborness of a maoist cadre who refuse to give information about their shelter, the whereabouts of their party leaders and who does not even get afraid of being shot when he was taken to a jungle to show some demo live gun shots killing.
Though Director Manoj Pandit told me in a candid converstaion that he is against the whole idea of blaming a movie to take sides, the movie written and directed by him manages to keep the balance
Movie even shows how Royal Nepal Army officers developes some relation with the detainees where in a scene the army major invites discussion with the maoist in a tea sitting and an army even makes tobacco for the innocent teacher. There is a conversation between the army major and the maoist where they point each other for violating human rights, with army treating people like animal inside the barrack and maoists threatening people for donation. The argument is truely a neutral depiction of what people feel about the both sides and it also shows how the both sides feel right for their work, one for the achievement of people’s right through revolution and another for the security of the state and its people.
Though some cutting of the torture sequences by the censor board and silencing of Maoist leaders name make the movie somewhat feeble, the acting/performance, background score, plot and the