Pema Tsedan's new film Tharlo returns to his earlier theme of people living at the edge of China's spectacular economic rise. The film grounded in daily existence and lived experiences of the main protagonist, Tharlo. Tharlo is a name given to a newborn child, when parents wish it to be the last, sort of a magical contraceptive formula. The name could be also read as "the end." It is not clear if the director is using the name here to signify some metaphorical meaning. The filming is about the ending of Tharlo's world as he lives.
The film is essentially a study of a character, Tharlo played by Shide Nyima. As in his earlier films, Pema is working with non-professional Tibetan actors, which gives his films a realistic and natural appearance. In Tharlo, Shide Nyima's physical trait and mannerism carry the film's central theme of innocence seduced and inscribed into an alien environment. Tharlo's discomfort as he enters each scene, draws audience's empathy and understanding, without mocking at a country bumpkin.
He is ill at ease when others utter his given name, being used to call by his nickname Ponytail, by his acquaintances. The film begins with Tharlo in a local police station reciting Mao's powerful and uplifting speech given at the memorial of Ching Szu.…show more content… Tharlo's shepherd camp is dissolute and isolated from the villages and the town, he leads a solitary life and has rarely ventured far and unaware of the rapid changes taking place in his near environment. He tells the female protagonists Yangtso, played by Yangshik Tso, that he had never encountered a Tibetan girl who smokes and has a short hair. Short hair, cigarette and night clubbing female may be a cliché of wayward seduction and urban corruption, but Pema Tsedan does not turn the figure into a caricature and pastiche of