So how are your preparations for Dashain? Have you experienced any chaotically organised festive events? I say chaotic as despite there being a plethora of event organisers springing up in recent years, there seems to be very little real management and planning. Take for example a film premier I was at recently. Advertised starting at 4pm, we went along an hour later only to be told the necessary invitations for entry would not arrive for another 20 minutes. Returning later after some refreshments (there was none in evidence at the event) we were told the ‘invitation by name list only’ was now ‘sold out’. Outside the venue the scene was of cars and bikes parked everywhere and those arriving still trying to drive through a huge crowd of ticketless invitees.
Where were parking signs or guards or even pre-event info stating parking would be limited, non-guaranteed? Having fought our way into the venue I was now sweating and dishevelled. This was not the red carpet event I have seen on TV! Finally seated in pre-assigned seats that no one was adhering to, there were the obligatory speeches. By now things were running very behind schedule, but that’s the norm right?
Hurrah! Speeches done, lights down, drum roll… adverts. Twenty minutes of adverts. The audience was getting restless; the press photographer in the next seat was bonding with me over his dismay of the ads. Finally, ads over… and… trailers of two ‘coming soon’ Nepali films. Really?
When the film we all came to see, at its premier no less, finally came on, the audience forgot about the long wait and started cheering the well-known faces on the screen. For me the film was the usual style which went out of Hollywood decades ago and is rarely seen even in Bollywood these days; a lot of blood and fighting and a bit of dancing. The only redeeming feature was the lead actress was excellent in her role and the scenery was stunning, albeit with a bit of technicolour added.
I am not going to give the plot away except to say it was exceeding far-fetched, but that’s the nature of the business. Neither am I going to name it except to say it was set in a fictional village in Upper Mustang (shot in a real village in lower Mustang, I am reliably told).
Here I am not writing a review of the movie, rather a comment on the organization of events in Kathmandu. Before those in the business start their own criticism, I was an events’ organiser for around nine years, in five countries. So there is a little knowledge behind my thoughts!
Having said that, although I didn’t really expect to find the film up there in my top 10 of all time, the target audience appeared to love the movie and they will spread the word. So despite the mismanagement, the premier served its purpose.
Back on the night in question, naturally the chaos didn’t end when the film finished. On leaving the cinema we waited till the crowd had lessened before making our way down the outside stairs. Right at the bottom of the exit stairs stood the actors being photographed and interviewed, while blocking the way out. Ah well… at least my companion got a selfie with the male lead and we didn’t get run over by the hoard of motorbikes all trying to leave at the same time. All good then.
I must say, that next time I’m invited to a ‘red carpet’ film premier, I will politely decline, and pay the Rs250 at the regular cinema to enjoy the film in more peaceful and less stressful surroundings. Lesson learned!
So yes, how are your experiences so far at your Dashain red carpet events?