E-pao! Movie Review

Siroi Lily - A Flower That Can't Bloom Elsewhere
Reviewed by: Rajmani Ayekpam

If you mention the word ‘Siroi Lily’ in any part of Manipur the people of this state will conceive that you have mentioned the name of the unique flower from Siroi hill of Ukhrul district. Siroi Lily is one of the rarest faunas of the world, which accidentally happens in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. Its unique characteristic is that you can't plant this flower in any part of the world other than Siroi hill. When British colonial rule was there in Manipur some Englishmen tried to plant this flower to some other place with much effort. After a long struggle they abandoned the idea of planting this unique flower to some other place other than Siroi hill. They felt Siroi Lily was the daughter of the goddess, which rule Siroi hill. So, you can't separate Siroi Lily from the Siroi hill.

Now, one hears the word Siroi Lily in the celluloid medium also. So, every cine goers of this state were thrilled in their hearts when the heard of Siroi Lily. SB & Sons Films Production, though latest film company in the Manipuri cinema, produce some fire in its maiden venture in the midst of the deteriorating Manipuri cinema industry. In this film, Siroi Lily was a very beautiful girl out of wedlock between a Meitei school teacher and a (Tangkhul) woman who settled at Siroi hill. After the death of her mother (died in communal clash) Siroi Lily (Seema) and her father (Manisana) left their village and returned to their eternal home at valley. She tried to settle at valley when she becomes a doctor but could not succeed like her unique character of Siroi Lily. At the end Siroi Lily became a symbol of love, integration and extreme sacrifice of Manipuri Society.

Though S Ibomcha Singh, Producer of Siroi Lily film, is a new entrant in this field, his entire core units are experienced ones Biswamitra - director, L Dhanachandra - story, dialogue & screenplay, Kishorkumar - Coreography, Chand Heisnam - Cinematography etc. are the experienced group of Manipuri cinema. More than five/six films were in their credits. Besides, they are the core groups of the Bright Film Manipur, which is one of the most actively working film companies in Manipur. Its star casts like Diya, Seema, Bhavani, Amarjeet, Gaitri etc. are the hot property of current Manipuri film trend. So, this film must be a watchable one. If you have experience expertise in your hand you have an advantage in your race.

There was a bold attempt in the film that tried to tell the story of Siroi Lily from the side of engineer Suresh, who was one of the protagonists in the film, not from the side of Siroi Lily. Suresh, a hard working and talented but not much luck in his early period, was from a village very far from Imphal. Though he topped in his twelfth examination, he had no means to study in what he wanted. Fortunately, the kind tenant from Imphal who had only granddaughter of his own encouraged him to study in what he wanted in engineering line. Then, Suresh married the only grand daughter of the kind man. Their married life did not last long, as Rita (Bhavani) died on delivery of her second child.

At Hospital Suresh met his long lost heartthrob Dr Siroi Lily. Siroi Lily loved Suresh in her heart but couldn't marry him due to certain circumstances. Siroi Lily decided to dedicate her remaining life for the welfare of the orphaned children. She established an orphanage home and spent much of her time after her hospital duty. Meanwhile, the family of engineer Suresh was crumbling down day-by-day after the arrival of Melei (Gaitri), the second wife after the expiry of first wife Rita. However, Melei had secret liaison with contractor Subol (Kishorkumar) from their earlier relationship. Subol tried to destroy the peaceful life of Melei and moreover extorted huge sum of money from the family through Melei by threatening her to expose her past life. Now, the torture of Subol on that family increased day-by-day. Even Subol tried to kidnap two children of Suresh. The two children left their home in fear of kidnapping by wicked Subol. Meanwhile, Subol murdered Melei after a quarrel.

When Subol knew that two children were in the custody of Dr Siroi Lily, he tried to snatch the children from Siroi Lily. Siroi Lily sacrificed her life to save the two children from the clutches of wicked Subol. Police arrived at the incident in time and saved the two children from the hands of Subol and his gang. Subol was killed in that encounter. At the end of the story, to remember the work and sacrifice by Siroi Lily, a statue of Siroi Lily was erected and people offered flowers to that statue. The story of Siroi Lily is not the story of ordinary people but it is a story, full of love and sacrifice. On the other side, it is a symbol of integration between the hills and the plains.

This film may keep you in suspense till end. There are lot of spices like dance numbers, fights, romantic scenes etc. in this movie. However, this film may be placed in the category of moderate class in spite of its spices in the story and visualization. The song and dance numbers are good but there is no special number to win the hearts of audience. The audience expects more shots of Ukhrul district because the story itself was named after the famous flower of Ukhrul district. To tell a story from the other side of the original was a bold attempt but is should have the taste, as good as the original side. Besides, if one uses a strong imagery in order to attract people to one’s film, one has to have the ability to give the same strong imagery at the end of the film.

Siroi Lily may be regarded as one of the star-studded films in Manipuri film with the presence of the popular actors & actresses like Diya, Amarjeet, Seema, Bhavani etc. Gaitri and Kishorkumar were the newfound in this film. Even they acted for the first time in celluloid, their range of acting promises more fire in the future. O Geet, the music director of this film, has a moderate success in his maiden venture as a music director, needs to put more fire in his next venture otherwise it will be difficult to survive among the stiff competitors. Biswamitra needs to produce more skill and stamina as one of the experienced directors among new bloods of Manipuri cinema. Dhanachandra, the story & screen writer of this film needs to be more versatile in story making and characterization though he is one of the experienced screenwriter of Manipuri films today. There is hardly any difference among his various films.

If you share the pain and the sacrifice with Siroi Lily when you see this film, yes, then the attempt of this film unit has some success in its maiden venture.


Released On 6th September 2001.
Amarjit, Diya, Seema, Amarjit, Bhavani, Kishorekumar, Gaitri, Baby Geeta
L Brajamohon, Shamo, Narendra Ningomba, Kameshawr, Amarjit
O Geet
Tijendra, Kunjabihari, Swamikumar, Rosibina, China Doll, Mandakini
Chan Heisnam




Chan, Oshit




S Ibomcha Singh

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