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KHANDAN

The story of Marani Devi continues to be hot stuff for both the print and electronic media. Earlier, the pages of newspapers were filled with the pathetic stories of Maheshwori, Hasina Devi and so on. All these women had fallen victim to popular superstitions in real life. They were stoned, beaten and humiliated in public after being accused of practicing withcraft. And Khandan, the latest film by Yuwaraj Lama, puts this sufferings of women like them in real life. Lama deserves praise for raising the issue.

Pregnant Sudha(Niruta Singh) never thought that Gyatri Subedi (Shushila Rayamajhi), her mother-in-law, will hatch such a cruel conspiracy against her just after her newly-wed hubby Vijaya (Rajesh Hamal) leaves for the city. Gyatri with the help of Manthara (Gauri Lama), bribes a witchdoctor to declare Sudha a witch.

The cruel witchdoctor pours boiled water on Sudha's head, and burns her body with a heated iron ladle. No one is there in the conservative community to hear Sudha's cries that she is not a witch. And in this, her mother-in-law finds the perfect opportunity to take sweet revenge. Instead of showing kindness, she encourages the villages to stone and humiliate her. Chitre(Ram chandra Adhikari) alone can not prevent her from barbarians. Vijaya knows nothing about this. He even does not receive any information from Chitre due to the corrupt postman. And Sudha has nowhere to go. Even her father and brother refuse to acknowledge her presence.

A helpless Sudha, however, must carry on and brings her son up with great difficulty, scavenging for food in garbage heaps. Vijaya, unknown to the fate of his sweetheart marries another girl(Sonia Malla). On the other hand, Sudha's son Ajay(Shushil Kshetri) grows up to become a successful businessman. Ajay is someone who refuses to accept defeat, in business or fight. He comes across Sneha(Rejina Uprety) and marries her.

Although once despised by all, Sudha now lives a happy and respectable life. Ajay too comes to know of her past life. And his only goal now is to make his father bankrupt, but using fair means. And one day he succeds in his aim and arrives home with all his belongings. But his success does not bring any happy to his mother, because Sudha still longs for her husband's prosperity. Sudha goes to meet Vijaya to return his belongings. This meeting ends with the reunion of the old husband and wife.

Khandan is by far the best among the half a dozen films directed by Yuwaraj Lama. While the story revolving around witch craft is captivating, the director seems to have spoiled the beauty of the film by lengthening it unnecessarily. As a result, the theme of the film shifts from witchcraft to the progress of a helpless woman's son. Had lama centred the film only on the witch-related incident, it would have been a masterpiece.

Niruta Singh has really done a good job in khandan. Similarly, Shushil Kshetri, the Bhai of Bhai has also performed well. Sushila Rayamajhi is sussful in the negative role. However, the role of Rejina is not worth mentioning. It is not necessary to comment on Rajesh's role. Shot in kathmandu and Nagarkot, Khandan is not totally free from faults.
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