Karkash – An Ode to Foreshadowing (2013)

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My neighbor happens to have a beautiful daughter—whom I cannot fathom, but gaze and appreciate. I’m sorry. One day, I visited my literary neighbor. He is a very jolly man, with a nice dose of rage hidden somewhere. I wanted to learn about foreshadowing. He greeted me with a wonderful smile, somewhat naked in many ways.

“My boy, foreshadowing cannot be taught; it is a natural art, an oddity—a habit, if you will. Just days ago, one student of my colleague—very humorous person—visited him to learn about irony. My friend explained that, in the name of learning irony, if he slips his daughter out and flees away—it would be crude irony.”

I nodded and seemed to understand. I asked him about his daughter—my friend, Seeta. She came downstairs. Cue ten minutes later: there was a note on the table that we had eloped!

How wonderful of a foreshadowing!

Just before the audience laughed at or due to Karkash—depending on human consciousness—a note glittered on the screens of QFX Kumari, and everywhere Karkash found itself home. The note was about the meaning of the term Karkash. In Nepalese-English Dictionary, the emotion of the word suggests a cruel, harsh, or a piercing sound, cacophony, very uneasy to the ears. Call it poetic justice or irony, Karkash lives up to the name.

The New Wave Phenomenon of Nepalese Cinema has everything needed by an honest filmmaker. She has the equipments, the human resources, the scenario, setting, backdrop; wonderful, extravagant concepts, and everything nice—except, one major attribute remains in oblivion. That trait is the wonderfully astounding art of storytelling. A major question does arise: why do we make movies? There are many answers and many people would have their own judgment authorized by their Chief Justice up in the air. Nonetheless, if an honest person asked an honest filmmaker, her answer would be related to telling a story through moving pictures.

The pictures were moving. The technology was there. The human resources were mirabilis. The backdrop was there; so was the setting and one extravagant concept. With that and all, the storytelling aspect was missing as Karkash relied, in its entire arsenal, on a plot so beaten down that a mosquito bite would shred it apart. Yet, that is not all, the movie encompassed a murder of typical characters, and a concentration on foreshadowing over storytelling—remember, foreshadowing is a technique of storytelling not a substitute—and the truly unpredictable climax, for lack of better word.

Directed by Asif Shah, Karkash has some great moments amidst the comedy. The theater was buzzing with laughter, especially the couple just behind my row. In fact, they were laughing so much that I asked myself what was wrong with me. Karkash has the ingredients and being a lover of Nepalese Cinema, the dynamics might appear distorted, but the movie possesses the characters for a typical Nepali entertainer! Having said it all, Karkash does manage to foreshadow the content of the movie in an exemplary manner: Karkash after all.

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