Coming to theatres from writer/director Khyentse Norbu and Abramorama comes a look at life through the eyes of death while LOOKING FOR LADY WITH FANGS AND A MOUSTACHE.
Tenzin (Tsering Tashi Gyalthang) lives in Nepal and wants to bring to the city the best coffee shop in Kathmandu. He is motivated, has a plan and spends time looking for the perfect space. While investigating one place, he sees a painting on the wall that he does not immediately recognize. Meeting up with friend Jachung (Tulku Kungzang) to practice their music, Tenzin has a vision of a girl and soon after that he finds himself having strange dreams and sees his sister who passed away long ago.
He tries to tell his friend Jachung about it several times but Jachung seems distracted by his relationship with Kunsel (Tenzin Kunsel). Suggesting that Tenzin see the Monk Oracle (Ngawang Tenzin), Jachung brings him unexpectedly to a party. That is when Tenzin learns that his life force is running out and he is going to die.
The Monk Oracle tells the young coffee entrepreneur that he needs to find a Dakini in hopes of changing his destiny. A Dakini is the embodiment of feminine energy and they are not easy to find. Instead of listening to the Monk, Tenzin goes to the doctor to see if there is anything else wrong that can be cured with medicine.
Tenzin agrees to meet with the Master of the Left-Hand Lineage (Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche) who gives him specific instruction on how to approach and gift a Dakini. Tenzin puts everything else in his life aside to do as instructed plus he is given a sacred hand signal for anyone he thinks is a Dakini but it comes with a warning.
Time is running out and Tenzin is panicked to find the one thing that can save him!
Gyalthang as Tenzin is truly magnificent as a man trying to live in the modern world while surrounded by a city that is deeply rooted in the traditions of its people and culture. Watching is journey through the film is one that is more relatable than people might realize. Not to say we are all going to check out in seven days but that he starts out believing his life is completely one way but perhaps it was the reality of it that was the real illusion. Well done.
Kungzang as Jachung is a good friend to Tenzin but does have a bit of a problem on the lady front. He seems a bit of a pushover and, to be honest, is not an attractive quality to my way of thinking. Yet with his friend Tenzin, he wants only the best and taking him to see the Monk was him being a true friend and I thought it charming.
Tenzin as the Monk is completely hilarious without perhaps intending to be so much. He is an ipad using, sunglass wearing, hipster Monk who puts the fear of life into the coffee entrepreneur. When it started to get a little bit out of his league, the one thing I’ll give him credit for is moving him over to someone who truly knew the rules of the dakinis!
Rinpoche as the Master of Left-Hand Lineage is not someone to be trifled with in the slightest. He does not play games and does not pull any punches. The Master quickly realizes that the Monk Tenzin had been seeing before did not exactly have Tenzin on the path. Seeing that Tenzin can be difficult, the Master makes it clear he does not have time for someone who is not serious about what must be done. Rinpoche’s character is exactly who I would want to tell me what’s what if I was in Tenzin’s shoes!
Kunsel as Kunsel is a young girl interested in music and seems very comfortable mixing tradition with the modern world. She fits beautifully into both except when it comes to the interest of Jachung. Kunsel is quite ready to change her life and is happy the way things are. That is not to say that life has something different planned for her. Kunsel is delightful but can put someone in their place if needs be and, honestly, she did make me laugh a few times.
Other cast include Divya Dev as Dev, Karma Shakya as Karma, Kelsang Tethong as Tenzin’s Mother, Parikshit B. Rana as Parikshit, and Rabindra Baniya as Rabindra.
Abramorama is the preeminent global theatrical distributions and rights partner for many documentary and music films and is recognized for the consistent high quality of its work on award winning features. Over the course of 20 years, Abramorama has successfully distributed and marketed hundreds of films including Ron Howard’s Grammy Award Winning THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK, Stanley Nelson’s MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, as well as Academy Award Nominee and IDA Best Documentary Winner THE LOOK OF SILENCE. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.abramorama.com.
Director Norbu says of his film, “In this modern, scientific world – a world on the verge of creating artificial intelligence, and a world that disparages anything not amenable to reason. I try in this film to explore some of the last genuine residues of Tibetan mysticism. Even among Tibetans themselves, their traditional beliefs, and ways of behaving and look at the world are increasingly rare and today carry little if any weight. Yet, I believe this ancient wisdom, which reflects the Buddhist view of reality, has something vital to offer our modern world.”
He continues, “I intend this film to express the deep respect for feminine energy embodies in that wisdom, and to portray in a contemporary setting both the transformative power of this energy and some of the ways it has traditionally been envoked.”
LOOKING FOR A LADY WITH FANGS AND A MOUSTACHE is just so beautifully done. Marrying both the characters desire to live in the modern world and Tenzin’s newfound respect for mysticism gives actor Gyalthang a heavy burden. Yet his portrayal is stunning, and I felt while watching him as if I were intruding on his journey. I cheered for him and with each rejection my heart sank – that is what a stunning performance does. He may have been caught between two worlds based on fear, but he came to understand the old and the new could coexist.
In the end – two worlds can coexist when you believe!