E-pao! Movie Review

Between conscious and sub-consciousness: A film by G. Narayan Sharma
By: Ranabir Mangang/TSE

Films have always been a very powerful medium to highlight the social problems and ills afflicting a society. It is also one of the most important and powerful social institutions of modern time and occupies a unique place in our contemporary society. In this regard NS Films plays a pivotal role in terms of providing entertainment, enhancing information and knowledge, preserving tradition, sensitising people about urgent issues of Manipuri society since the last two decades.

One cannot ignore the Company's box office hits like Lamja Parshuram, Saphabee (1997), Olangthagee Wangma-dasu (1980) etc. and its valuable contributions to Manipuri cinema. All these films are, we should say, commercial or mainstream films which appeal to the masses. But, Helloy, the latest presentation from this company now running at Friends Talkies, Imphal is somewhat a deviation from their earlier films. The film tries to relay the present state of unrest in society depicted through the legends of Helloy, the seven supernatural sisters. As tradition goes, Helloys are enchantresses who always try to woo mentally weak bachelors and keep them under their spell. Under the spell of the Helloys the possessed individual is made to eat cowdung, earth worms etc as if these are delicacies. In short the possessed individual act like maniacs in their sub-conscious level. This kind of spell can be defeated and cured by Maibas.

The film clearly shows all these with exaggerated scenes. The point where the film scores is with even such a difficult subject as divine possession the director of the film manages to handle it with extra-ordinary sensibility, like Syam Sharma had done in his film Ishanou in 1990.

Ishanou deals with the Maibi phenomenon which disturbs the peace of a happy family but Narayan Sharma's Helloy depicts the mysterious phenomenon of Helloy who possesses a desperate romantic youth.

It is to the credit of the director and perhaps the actress Chandan (Chandan in the film also) who in the role of Helloy manage to bring scale new hieghts with their creativity and sensitive portrayal of the theme.

The plot can be divided into two parts. The romantic affairs of Birbhadra and Chandan and the possession of Birbhadra by Helloy for her romantic satisfaction. Both the parts have similar endings. Birbhadra who has an affair with Chandan becomes desperate when he learns that Chandan is going to be married to a doctor. Finally, he takes his Guruji's place and takes the oath of celibacy. Chandan who tried to make up with Birbhadra after realising the situation had to go back empty handed. On the other hand, the Helloy who possessed Birbhadra in order to fulfill her romantic urge also had to undergo the same of pangs of separation as a Maiba cures Birbhadra. The director skillfully handles the conscious and sub-consciousness plot and tries to compare the present state of the society as being possessed by a Helloy. Uncertainty of life, frequent bandhs, blockades, gun culture, suffering of innocents, irresponsibility towards the environment etc. make the people restless and society is enveloped by a bad dream. The film itself poses relevant questions to our contemporary society.

Despite the brilliance of the director the film suffers from poor technical control.

However Narayan's film has proved that it is possible to make a good movie despite many handicaps faced by the industry in the State. Helloy is ultimately original and makes one think.

Director's note:

Manipur, an erstwhile princely state, now a state of Indian Union, once described as "Paradise on earth," has now turned into a place of utter chaos. There exist many different ethnic groups in Manipur - Meiteis (the largest group residing in the plains), Pangals (Muslims, also residing in the plains), Nagas (mainly residing in the hills; amongst the Nagas, there are many sub-tribes), Kukis (also mainly residing in the hills; amongst the Kukis also, there are many sub-tribes) and many other smaller ethnic groups. All the ethnic groups with distinct cultural heritage and beliefs are blood relations. This picture is aimed at bringing the blood brothers closer.

There is a strong belief that seven supernatural sisters called Helloys do exists. Helloys are enchantress who always tries to woo mentally weak bachelors and keep then under their spell. They make the unfortunate individual do whatever they wish. Those under their spell fed all sorts of disgusting things like cow dung, earthworms etc. All those under their spell lose their sensibilities and start acting like maniacs. The story draws a parallel from this belief of existence of Helloys. The present State of unrest in Manipur is projected as if the people are under the spell of Helloys.

Another belief of the Manipur is that Keithel Lairembi, a deity assigned as the warden of the marketplace, makes her appearance before any calamity or misfortune that is bound to happen in the near future.

The story starts with the appearance of Keithel Lairembi.She wails in the marketplace at dawn. She prophesized that blood brothers would fight one another. This signifies the unfortunate turns of events that would lead to the present state of unrest in Manipur.

The story weaves around a girl, Chandan, who wishes to investigate the existence of the Helloys and her long forgotten childhood friend, Birabhadra, who has become a painter and a social worker at the same time. In the course of their meeting as grown-ups and falling for each other again, many problems that are being faced by the people of Manipur are shown. The Law of the jungle, "Might is right," prevails in Manipur. There is no place for the weak and poor.

A farm, with an ashram where Birabhadra and many others belonging to different ethnic groups reside and work together hand in hand, undisturbed by the happenings around them shows that inspite of the false propaganda blood brothers still can coexist peacefully.

Guruji, a celibate, the founder of the ashram, who works tirelessly for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden represents the very few people left in Manipur, who still have not lost hope and sacrifice their lives for the betterment of the society. In the end, Guruji succumbs to a stray bullet like many innocents in Manipur, who laid down their lives in the last few years. Birabhadra takes the place of Guruji. Chandan ultimately realizes that choosing Birabhadra as a partner of life would be in vain as he has taken Guruji's place and has take the oath of celibacy. She makes a silent exit and keeps everyone guessing.

*A change in the eternal walk of life *


Diya, Chandan, Keshoram, Dhaneshwar Sharma, Guna Sharma, Dhanamanjuri, Romi, Gyatri
Baby Praneshwari, Baby Rameshwari.
Dr. N Sarat, Rupachandra, Rameshchandra, Bimola, Roma, Baby Praneshwari, Bedapati.
(Late) Aheibam Shyam
Dr. N Sarat Singh
Tom Sharma/Chandan
G Narayan Sharma

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • CAB Protest [17 Jan] : Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #3
  • Bird's Eye view at 'Go To School' Mission
  • 10 % reservation & ST demand ?
  • Poetic Justice - III :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Legislative Assistant to MP- Fellowship
  • The changing face of Manipuri youths
  • Rolling up sleeves for ST tag
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #1
  • Chongdeinem, Abothem :: eMing
  • ST Demand - Poster Campaign : Gallery
  • Retrospective View On Driver's Day
  • Integrated farming & its importance
  • Nightingales in winter :: Poem
  • Tour to Delhi for border area students
  • Nagaland Cabinet Meeting on CAB
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #1
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai, Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Understanding Mao Tse-Tung
  • Of Vernacular & my Enlightenment..
  • Teacher wanted at Tekcham High School
  • Demanding release of Kishorechandra
  • BJP's Agenda : Curtain raised
  • Topping in enrolment in pvt schools
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai :: Flash Presentation
  • CAB Protest [16 Jan] : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Cry of a Dying River - 62 :: Poem
  • Occasion & festivity as career choice
  • Rejoinder to NDPP on CAB by NPF
  • Saving tomorrow for our children
  • Open invitation to Mission schools
  • Women's Intl Polo [Jan 17] : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Manipur tops enrolment in private schools
  • Variance of laboratory results
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #2
  • Naga International Trade Fair at Dimapur
  • Has Loktak mortgaged to Company
  • CAB: Lining up public convention on Jan 20
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #2
  • CAB & scoring 21 out of 25 ?
  • Complications :: Poem
  • North East Business Summit at Delhi
  • Almond oil is the ultimate skin care
  • The Bill that haunt the government
  • Over 50 police personnel chargesheeted
  • Insurgency related incidents in NE states
  • Myanmar border fence going nowhere
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #1: Gallery
  • Crop diseases & organic way of managing
  • War and Poetry :: Poem
  • Landeng-Pena yakaiduna Poster Campaign
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Condemns communal nature of CAB 2016
  • PCC, Arunachal Pradesh on CAB, 2016
  • CAB and other issues before LS polls
  • Sit-In against CAB [Jan 14] : Gallery
  • CAB : Our Identity & Culture is at stake
  • Re-Imagining the Naga Peace Process
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Northeast Startup Summit 2019
  • Ponder them to live like human beings
  • No Shield for Manipur against CAB
  • Missing link: NE, CAB & obscure assurance
  • JCILPS Protest against CAB : Gallery
  • AMUCO Rally against CAB : Gallery
  • Poetic Justice - II :: Poem
  • Makar Sankranti Musing
  • Biren should release Kishorchandra
  • New archaeological site in Senapati
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #1
  • New craft gallery to promote NE products
  • Rights body warns Nagas on Article 371 (A)
  • NE Black Day against CAB : Gallery
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Myanmar-India Business Summit, Sagaing
  • Cry of a Dying River - 61 :: Poem
  • Preventing the Dengue threat
  • NPF on Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
  • Nagaland Chief Minister On CAB 2016
  • Hijacking by pseudoscience
  • Mr. CM, you can't fool people on CAB
  • CAB 2016: Adoption of foreign citizens
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • CAB & question of India's North East
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #1
  • Local actions for #GlobalGoals
  • Know your HIV status
  • Pope Francis - the last Pope!
  • CAB is unsecular discriminatory bill
  • When Govt. disregard Constitutions...
  • Citizenship Bill: An exceptional exception
  • The Walking Lady : A Short Story
  • 4th Convocation Ceremony of CAU
  • The Voice of Silence :: Poem
  • Against CAB 2016 : 6 Student Bodies
  • Need for a separate time zone
  • BOOM MMA : 'Manipur Top Team' members
  • Against Citizenship Bill Act 2016
  • Lt Gen Rajeev Sirohi at Spear Corps
  • Is the middle man responsible
  • Economically weak at Rs 8 lakh per annum ?
  • Umanglai Haraoba: Traditional Institution
  • Strike against CAB : Gallery
  • People - animal conflict
  • Fine on relieving in public
  • Flawed/divisive Citizenship Bill dangerous
  • Broken :: Poem
  • Meetei gi mayokta leiba Political party..
  • NE uniting under shutdown call : CAB
  • Trains in NE to get 'glass-top' coaches
  • Yubi Lakpi #2 : Gallery
  • Freedom's fault lines
  • Traditional Manipuri Curries
  • Governance in Multi-Ethnic States
  • Understanding animal welfare
  • Unite against corruption for development
  • Manipurgi Maraibk Kari Oihougani
  • On restoring of director of CBI
  • Citizenship Bill : scourge for NE
  • Feel good factor from UNC
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • A tale of two falcons
  • Artificial Insemination in livestock
  • The Naked Truth :: Poem
  • My itinerary visit to Veeranapalya
  • Test for Free Coaching for IIT/AIIMS
  • Critique of Transgender Persons Bill
  • Press Rejoinder from NPF [7 Jan]
  • Nagaland Cabinet on Citizenship Bill
  • Can we expect something from govt
  • Mova Cave, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Sumo Wrestling #2 :: Gallery
  • Maipaksana RK: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Poetic Justice - I
  • IIT-G Technology Incubation Centre
  • Sana Chahi Ahum & 1857 revolt #2
  • Economics of climate change & growth
  • Singhat Students tour to Delhi & Agra
  • Congress against Modi on Rafale Deal
  • Press Club celebrates foundation day
  • NSF to impose 11-hr bandh on Jan 8
  • 518 drug traffickers arrested in 2018
  • Gangmumei Kamei Memorial lecture
  • Taking the Street Vendor seriously #1
  • WWII museums in Japan: Gallery
  • Schedule : HSLC Examination 2019
  • Schedule : Class XI Examination 2019
  • Schedule : HSE Examination 2019
  • Caste System in Contemporary India: Book
  • Save energy and save your skin
  • Benefits of henna for beauty
  • Coronary In-stent obstruction treated
  • A take on PM visit to Imphal
  • No over the top promises, assurances
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #1: Gallery
  • Management of commercial broiler farming
  • 61st CC Meet Football Tournament 2019
  • Noise Ruins & Blights Lives
  • Social media & freedom of speech
  • Cry of a Dying River - 60 :: Poem
  • Declare war against air pollution
  • Winter relief at Thanga
  • Of monologues and conveniences
  • Raising posers before PM's arrival: Cong
  • Irengbam Bedamani :: eRang Photos
  • Poireiton Chakhao at Loktak Lake
  • Hojang :: Poem
  • New Year: Challenges & opportunities
  • One Rank One Pension Paper (OROP)
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #1: Gallery
  • May the Year 2019 bring integrity of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest: Evening Prog #2: Gallery
  • What I learned from Kishorchandra detention
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #4: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Village Authority in Hill Areas of Manipur #2
  • From nomenclature conflict of oral tradition
  • Bye Bye 2018 !!! : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Unforgettable Revolutionary NK Sanajaoba
  • Certificate distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Top 5 Indie/Alternative Picks of 2018
  • Sangaithel Park @Sangai: Gallery
  • A view of Ukhrul Town #1: Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • National Mathematics Day & Ramanujan
  • Thougal Jagoi @Sangai: Gallery
  • Snowfall @Tamei, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • China spreads across Indochina Peninsula
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #2: Gallery
  • Xmas: Churches @Lamphel : Gallery
  • 27th Imphal Book Fair #2 : Gallery
  • The Crying Call of Motherland :: Poem
  • Kwatha Festival #3 : Gallery
  • 12th Manipur Polo Intl #2 : Gallery
  • Harvard Leadership Program at Don Bosco
  • Christmas @Churachandpur : Gallery
  • UN Rapporteur briefed on Kishorechand
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #3: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic