“Chuut Wai” is the film. Both written and directed by Phuntsok Rabten. At the 13th National Film Awards, the 150-minute long film won several awards. And remarkably, it won the award for best youth-related film of the year 2013.
As I work with a youth agency in Bhutan, I felt very happy to know about the award and more so that I watched the film. Today when our country is facing with new social challenges, especially youth problems, “Chuut Wai” has brilliantly illuminated all the core issues of youth concerns. And even through films, “Chuut Wai” lauds loudly that we can help address youth problems.
By the way, the film is thoroughly entertaining with very original screenplay and music. To be precise, it’s a real cinematic treat for you - this I don’t hesitate to say. It can make you laugh, fight with your own emotions, and cry ultimately.
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Last month, I met the film director and I was quite happy to learn many more things about the film from him. He told me that “Chuut Wai” is a film adapted from real life characters from our contemporary times.
‘Chuut Wai’ revolves around Dingay, a disillusioned young man, who breaks down into depression, drugs and violence after his uneducated mother commits suicide when her husband divorced her. This is a real life story of Jigme Yosel Jigme, a recovering addict; and quite interestingly, he played his own role in the film as Dingay.
As the film unfolds, all along you also walk with Dingay. You are there in his story, in one form or another. Like him, you start to loathe his father, and howl in anguish and injustice; and cling to the past all related to the deceased mother. You become angry with everybody, everything around you. As Dingay gets into depression and seeks solace in his horrid past and drugs, you are also filled with a lonely, dark, and helpless feeling.
However, Dingay’s life undergoes a transformative journey when Jigme, a visually impaired young man, comes into his life. Even the role of Jigme is the real life story of Jigme Namgyal and he played his own role in the film.
As the film runs through scene after scene, it begins to take on a clear form and you can hear the film’s conscience, the voice. Too loudly. Too clearly. At the end, the film feels like a religious ritual that can heal your wounded spirits, your errors corrected.
This film is full of comedy; however, the humours are real, not coarse or forced. You laugh because it happens to you everyday, anyhow. Through comic scenes, we are enticed to reflect your own perceptions, feelings and intentions, and rethink some of our own prejudices, ignorance and stupidity. At the end, you are laughing at yourself only.
At one moment, Phuntsok Rabten explained me that this film of his takes on the holistic approach to today’s social problems. I love the resonant power of his message in the film - all relevant, real and powerful. He has woven all our traditional values and wisdoms in the film so beautifully. And these are something invisible and beyond our understanding, yet we can feel them with right attitude and belief. The classroom education is not enough to fully educate our youth, and solve social problems.
The film also has, for you, unlikely romance and songs but of remarkable proportions. And it takes you to unexpected twists and astonishing turns, all the way to a climatic finale. There’s good news for you, that the film will re-screened in Thimphu again.
Photo courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/ChuutWai