The story arc of Lunana may offer few surprises but Dorji handles it with confidence and buckets of charm.
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Opening the doors to a land and people most Westerners know little about, the director crafts a crowd-pleaser in stunning, mostly unseen locations whose charms weather even its most idealistically patriotic and overly saccharine notes.
The film is a fable, to be sure, and one that unfolds at a leisurely pace, not a tough-minded psychological drama. But it’s sharp-witted as well as soulful, reasonably suspenseful.
The gently efficient story feels like an attempt to illustrate Bhutan’s real-life “Gross National Happiness” initiative.
Donji’s screenplay finds an ideal balance of gentle humor and life-affirming drama.