This is a film about four friends in Dharamsala, the exile seat of Tibetans, their dreams and aspirations. Nyima, the lead character of the film, is a die-hard fan of the Hollywood icon Richard Gere, and wanted to follow in his footsteps to do something meaningful for his country, Tibet. The film can safely be classified under romantic comedy where two of the friends ultimately falling in love with the same lady and the story unfolds. Suitable doses of Exile politics and the Buddhism philosophy of life adds new layer to the film.
One of the most important attempts made by the director duo is the film’s richness in characterisation. I cannot stop laughing until my stomach starts hurting when I see some of the funniest characters like Love Guru, Acha BBC, Phuntsok Drunkard and Cho Dargay. I totally agree with Tenzin Tsundue, Tibetan writer and activist, who maintained that the characters of the film can be compared to those of the best novels available. Every character fits in their respective shoes and more importantly pushes the story forward. Say, let us take out a smallest of the small character and imagine what will happen next, the film starts losing its luster. Every actor did a great job especially Tenzin Younden who performs the role of the lead character, Nyima or Richard. The film broke the myth that Tibetans cannot be good actors when it comes to celluloid.
The pace of the story is relentless and smooth. It offers every flavour to make a particular film hit. I felt that the conventional rule of Aristotle in the art of story telling is followed but in a very different way due to which the film is unique in its own way. Unlike their earlier film, Phun Anu Thanu, which offers happy ending, here it is the other way round where the principal character does not fulfill his dreams and aspirations in the end. But he discovers an important aspect of life, that every being is impermanent and must die one day.
Another prominent achievement of the film is its cinematic camera work. The filmmaker though did not use any of the dolly or crane, yet every shot is well composed where the rule of third is followed effectively. It was shot on a digital camera yet it very much contributes to the overall celluloid look of the film. Considering that the filmmaker used location sound for dialogues, they are good enough and treated well in the post. However, I felt that the Background music needs to be taken care of a bit.
To sum up, the film will be remembered for its sheer entertainment value, good direction, excellent artiste performances and nice camera work among the many. Watch this film, you’ll love it. I wish the director duo all the best in their future endeavor. Long live Tibetan films and filmmakers.
Movie: Richard Gere is My Hero
Duration: 1 hr 45 mins
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Tibetan with English Subtitle
Script & Direction: T. Wangchuk and T.Dorjee
Lead actors: Sonam Tsering (a lead actor from Phun Anu Thanu), Tenzin Younden, Dechen Yangzom (a lead actress in Phun Anu Thanu, Tenzin Choedon