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Prem Geet 3 Review: A Noteworthy Effort

For actor Pradeep Khadka, Prem Geet 3 was the culmination of a dream he’s had for many years. It was his deepest wish that some day, a Nepali movie would be dubbed in international languages and be watched in cinemas around the world. The dream finally came true as a result of his own efforts, and Prem Geet 3 has finally released in cinemas, despite an ongoing feud with the Film Development Board. 

The target set by Prem Geet 3 is definitely a noteworthy one in the Nepali cinemascape. The movie is set in a fantasy world in the Himalayas, where tyrannical rulers and palace conspiracies are a daily reality. Prem, played by Pradeep Khadka, is the prince of the ruling clan, known as Khazaak. Despite being the younger of two princes, he has been prophesied to become the greatest ruler his clan has ever seen. But there’s a catch — he will go on to find two paths in front of him, to be a great lover, or a great ruler. 

Fascinating World-Building

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In telling its story, this movie conjures up an intriguing fantasy world. Of course, period movies based on Nepali history are captivating from the get-go because we never get to see our history brought to life in such a manner. Prem Geet 3 is set in a primitive society where the rulers are not administrators but victorious tyrants. These rulers do not live in opulence; rather, they are quite connected to their violent history. At the same time, the fictional kingdom of Khazaak is set in the Himalayans, and integrates the real customs and lifestyle of its communities. 

This fictional world, and the attention to detail that went into creating it, is the major strength of Prem Geet 3. The movie’s world-building is a major achievement in Nepal’s film industry. Watching Nepali actors play out a fictional cinematic world with its own lore and history is absolutely exhilarating. It is equally exciting to realize that the filmmakers have sought to keep this fantasy universe grounded — details such as the characteristic hairdo of the Khazak clan and their preference of the axe as the most common weapon act as constant references to the clan’s violent history. The movie even goes so far as to create a clan motif for the rival Domari clan — a golden sun. It’s a level of detail that is simply absent in most Nepali films.  

Prem Geet 3 Stumbles On The Prem

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But the movie is also chock-full of Nepali story-telling cliches, which ultimately bring its impact down. For all her skills, Kristina Gurung seems woefully cast as the heroine, Geet. Romance scenes, sabotaged by the direction and the terrible dialogues, manages too often to look like a parody of romance cliches in Nepali cinema. So much so, that they drew occasional laughs from the cinema hall audience simply because of their absurdity.    

This flaw also lead the way for the biggest issue of the movie. For a film titled Prem Geet 3, there is an awfully little amount of thought that went into crafting the romance arc between Prem and Geet. After all, the romance is supposed to be one of two major paths that Prem is supposed to choose between. However, the movie simply plops him in Geet’s obscure village with very little plot rationale, and hastily brings the two together. 

Shiva Shrestha Is The GOAT

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Veteran actor Shiva Shrestha emerges as Prem Geet 3’s most valuable actor. It is a pleasantly surprising move that a Nepali film would choose to present the hero’s clan as savage rulers rather than civilized, well-meaning monarchs. Shiva Shrestha’s performance as the Khazaak king pretty much solidifies this narrative and makes it believable. Shrestha is a powerful presence, a shrewd thinker, and proud of his Khazaak heritage. Although he is not the main antagonist of the film, he has the makings of a fine villain — ageing but tireless, often bemused rather than outraged at bad news, and comfortably cruel when the situation calls for it. 

Ultimately, Prem Geet 3 works much, much better as a fantasy political drama than it does as a love story. In fact, put another name to the movie, and this begins to look like a strong attempt at the historical fantasy genre, held back only by the limitations of the Nepali cinema industry. In the end, these two storylines do come together in a coherent manner. But this clarity is missing for much of the film. Watching this movie would definitely be an interesting experience; but do be ready to cringe a whole bunch any time Geet is onscreen. 

Rating:
3/5
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