Sometimes a film has the power to bring you into that world on the other side of the screen; you partake in an experience that you were not aware was possible when you started your viewing. Upon reading the title behind director Khyentse Norbu’s (The Cup) newest film Looking for a Lady with Fangs and a Moustache it immediately caught my interest even with knowing nothing about the film. What I viewed was not what I expected but rather something different altogether. The film revolves around a young man named Tenzin who is on the verge of opening a new business and after having sudden “visions” is told by a Buddhist monk he only has a short time to live. In order to stop this from happening Tenzin must find a dakini, a woman considered in Buddhist culture to have deep spiritual ties, and after performing certain tasks he will go on living.
The premise sounds simple and pretty straight forward but that is where Norbu takes you down a different path. As any other moviegoer we are conditioned to think a certain way when watching a film and when something does not fit the pattern we react differently. Our journey becomes somewhat similar to Tenzin’s, in that we are each moving forward not knowing the outcome and put into an uneasy state of mind that we have no control over. Tenzin at first is unwilling to hear the “advice” of the monk, who I would compare to Fonzie from Happy Days as just being the most chilled/relaxed guy in the room, but soon after follows his steps to alter his own future. In each step Tenzin takes forward to complete his task I feel I did as well in the sense that I became more at ease with what was happening. I cannot force the momentum at which the film paces itself, rather I can watch and encompass the serenity in which the film surrounds itself with as the story unfolds. Norbu does not heavily rely on dialogue but rather the setting and moment that is taking place: Tenzin walking down a street, Tenzin just sitting and observing what is happening around him or musicians playing; it is far from riveting but the film plays as a moment of meditation.
Although the film’s approach may not be in everyone’s favor I do commend Norbu on providing a different viewing experience. Set in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, the locale is stunning throughout the film with each scene being more captivating and picturesque than before. Much as how Tenzin’s outlook on life is changed and he begins anew so do we as a viewer in being able to go with the flow and be in the moment of what we are watching.
2.5 out of 5
Film will be released in theaters & VOD Friday April 9th via HERE
Exclusive Limited Screening + Conversation w/ Director Khyentse Norbu HERE
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