Short film review: The Last Experiment

The Last Experiment has an eccentric plotline and nice cinematography but not much else besides that.

Prasun Sangroula

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: The pandemic has brought the Nepali film scene to a virtual standstill. Cinema theaters have remained closed for much of the past year and half, while Nepali films are yet to break into streaming services. The cine industry is estimated to have incurred a loss of over Rs.160 million due to the pandemic.

Despite that, however, filmmakers have been putting out short films on Youtube. A month ago, on July 9, a short film called ‘The Last Experiment’ premiered on YouTube. The film was billed as a thriller, a genre seldom explored in the Nepali film scene. The film was expected to be a breath of fresh air.

The film, directed by Saroj Tamang, tells the story of a girl, Zara, who is underprivileged and wants to study medicine—especially, human anatomy—an expensive discipline to pursue academically. The film explores the extent to which she goes to fulfill her dream of studying her preferred subject. 

“Actually, I liked girls since childhood, but I never tried [sic],” she says at the beginning of the film. The viewer is left confused as to what exactly is it that she “never tried” or in what sense, she says she liked girls. “It feels weird to even think about it. But I realized when I came here that’s also a feeling.”

The viewer wonders if the film will depict a lesbian love story but soon proves to be wrong.

The movie has a well-done script, its plot points clearly laid out. But it hardly translates well onto the screen.

The film features new faces; the newbie actors struggle with basics such as dialogue delivery, which is unnatural at best and plain awkward at worst. Most of the time the movie follows a monologue format which is especially demanding for actors. But hardly any actor lives up to the mark. The protagonist shines at a few close-ups but that’s about it, with nothing much to write home about.

Moreover, the film’s background score struggles to compliment the gravity of its plot. Given that it is a thriller, one expects some dark and intense background music to accompany it. But the music hardly excites the viewer.

Despite those weaknesses, however, the film is shot well; the shots are well-composed and they flow seamlessly.

This film certainly has a new concept and an eccentric plotline. But not much else besides that. Watch it at your own risk.