Review: Gyem Dorji’s new film Chhoegyal Dhoenyoe Dhoendup is peopled with humans and otherworldly creatures.

It’s an entertaining film, however it gives some interesting historical perspectives.

A tale of two brothers born into royalty, they too must go through same mundane experiences that the low-born must face in life. The story weaves through bittersweet affections and painful separation.

And the mermaids and dragon show up to give it an entirely different picture of the time and setting of the narrative. They shape the story as importantly as two brothers do and add colour to the film. In ways more than one these otherworldly characters give soul to the story.

Film director Gyem Dorji is one of the major characters alongside Tawchu Rabgay. The two formidable neighbouring kings have their own troubles to confront. The film has also employed the eminent skills of actors like Tshering Yonten, Dechen Wangmo, Sangay Rinchen, Tshewang Lhamo, and Ugyen Choden.

But it is the outstanding performance of the two child actors – Osel Tenzin Tshering and Tensel Tenzin Tshering – that give real meat to the film. They manage to bring tears in the eyes of the audience as film draws on.

The film’s cinematography is commendable as are sound effects and transition. As most Bhutanese films are, Chhoegyal Dhoenyoe Dhoendup is richly interspersed with songs and heavy-sounding dialogues.

The two and half hour film, produced by Norling Drayang, will be screened at Ninda Bioscope, Thimphu. It could well knock down the record set by Chhoegyal Drimed Kuenden.

Thinley Zangmo