The movie tackles a burning issue – drug addiction – with a realistic yet sensitive touch

Review:  It is this, the art of filmmaking, indeed.  In an age when films are made not with any social purpose but to eke an easy living out of it, Kencho Wangdi (Bonz) has a lesson or two to give the brain-dead and wasting Bhutanese film industry of the day.

In “Jigme,” a film about young people struggling to get out of drug addiction, Jigme Yosel Jigme brings out real picture of the problems facing many a young person in this country today.  As a person who is trying to part with the debilitating habit himself, Jigme gives out a performance that is supremely fine and appears highly trained.

Of course, it is the direction of the film, really, that brings out the diamonds in the rough.  It shows.  Perhaps the true value of the film lies in the fact that all the young actors are themselves striving to walk away from hazardous obsession with controlled substances.

And the film, produced by Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority, will be distributed free.  Such films, made with an aim to address a growing social problem in the country, should be made accessible to the public.

Jigme’s father, Ap Kazi, is a man consumed by his own idea of wealth and status in a small society.  He has no time for his illiterate wife and his ambitious and hard working son.  Jigme wants to become a doctor.  It is a son’s dream that a busy and uncaring father shatters to bits in this unabashedly tearjerker of a film.  And so, Jigme takes to drugs.  This is the narrative of more than a few ever prospering Bhutanese families, particularly in the urban centres of this country.

But we must redeem our own souls.  This is the theme of the film.  It is often the role of parents, who do not get at the heart of their children when they are growing up. Love and care and attention are what the young people need.

And comes, finally, the awakening.  Jigme goes to rehab and his father comes back to the family.  Life comes to normal and Jigme goes back to school.  It is time one needs to find and put some effort in life. Only then will there be balance.  And balance is everything when it comes to life.  This is the message of the film “Jigme”.

Jigme Wangchuk


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