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.

  • ILP Check point at Jiri : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The untold story, lest it be forgotten
  • Assistance to victims of Assam Flood
  • A glimpse of 'Yangna Paikhredako Punshi'
  • Market innovations in developing country
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Anti-drug day expose state pathetic situation
  • The wedge amongst the Nagas
  • Coming of Manipur University in 1980
  • COVID-19 Status 26 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Laitonjam Lanchenba: Best Swimmer
  • Our capital Imphal - the city of sanity
  • Workshop : ND & PS Act, 1985
  • Mara Prabhu - Lord of the trees
  • Essence of international anti-drug day
  • July 1 : Taking the fight to plastic
  • Miss Shirui Lily 2022 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Flesh Trade : Connection between Goa & NE
  • Importance of Soil Testing & Management
  • ST status Vs Classical language for Meetei
  • Life, faith and belief
  • MANISFA General Secretary appointed
  • Flood Watch : 23rd June #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Community led in ensuring HIV treatment
  • Approach to ideology & development
  • Solar Energy solution for healthcare facility
  • Yoga for health, beauty and immunity
  • Innovation Prize Launched for Designers
  • Knotty higher education sector
  • Classical language status and ST demand
  • Flood Watch : 23rd June #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Birds and Bees Talk launched 3rd phase
  • Luck matters, Rio's first entry into cabinet...
  • Need to deal with dumping of waste materials
  • Training on mushroom at Nagamapal
  • 1961 as base year: Take it or leave it
  • 10 years too late : JCILPS
  • Phamnaiba Jagoi @ Thangjing : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Women's cleanliness enjoys equal rights...
  • Life in some hill villages
  • The MCI Restoration II
  • 'BRO Cafes' on 75 border roads
  • Protest over boundary row headache for Govt
  • Issues on the indigenous question
  • Drug Menace In Manipur : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 June : Govt of Manipur
  • ST tag for Meiteis - A perspective!
  • Manipur State Welfare : Politics 1-0 Citizens
  • International Yoga Day at Assam Rifles
  • International Yoga Day at IBSD Imphal
  • International Yoga Day at NSU Imphal
  • Manipur Lokyukta: Fighting against corruption
  • Vision to distribute local rice under NFSA...
  • Taking the fight to the drug menace
  • Landslides - Imphal-Jiri [Jun 17] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Thangjing in folklore of Koireng tribe
  • Health Workshop on Diabetes at Pune
  • Everyone is a thief :: Poem
  • E- barton for CM & Governor
  • Intensive cultivation of vegetables
  • High time to encourage e-vehicle operators
  • Scripting success story with Rs 500
  • Leima Jagoi by Transgender #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 June : Govt of Manipur
  • June 19 2022 : Father's Day message
  • Nine Hills One Valley : Ottawa Film Fest
  • Shirui Lily Festival or mud festival ?
  • Yoga for Women organised
  • Flight link to Mandalay dream come true
  • Action of Govt needs to be backed
  • 21st Great June Uprising #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The Great June 18 Uprising :: News Timeline
  • Revive environmentalism in Meetei ethos
  • COVID-19 Status 17 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Elephant army of Lord Guruvayurappan
  • Who will be next at Rashtrapati Bhawan
  • Hiyang Tannaba @ Loktak #1 : Gallery
  • Freedom movement against British #2
  • Inequity and health security
  • Donating blood is an act of solidarity
  • Unregulated deposit schemes & BUDS Act
  • Extension of entry age : Agnipath
  • Citizens feeding on adulterated food items
  • Of food safety and street vendors
  • Pooja Elangbam, IAS, 81st ranker in AICS
  • COVID-19 Status 16 June : Govt of Manipur
  • NE Model @Delhi Kids Fest : Gallery
  • Manipur Rajkunja
  • Effective Legal Aid to Women Prisoner
  • How to avoid cracked heel during hot summer
  • Aid to artisan must to promote local product
  • Education for whom ?
  • Kabui Dance @Nongshaba Haraoba : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 June : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Let's Talk About It' : music album
  • Significance of World Environment Day
  • The MCI Restoration
  • North East CSR Award 2022
  • Prolonged sitting or standing spoils your leg
  • State fast-tracking towards drug making hub
  • 'Progression' from smuggling to manufacturing
  • Bonny Elangbam : Longest distance covered
  • COVID-19 Status 14 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Interaction with Makakmayum Hosni Mubarak
  • India to become $5 trillion economy
  • Exploring traditional medicines of NE
  • Freefall of the kids after COVID-19
  • Honour the tax payers, expose defaulters
  • NE needs more than 'unprecedented'
  • Miss Shirui Lily 2022 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Water management in paddy cultivation
  • PM Modi hails Nagaland Gaon Burahs
  • Blight of Nature :: Poem
  • Moreh as Las Vegas
  • NHIDCL's reputation at stake
  • Drugs, poppy & 'alternatives'
  • Thaopai Shithaine of Poumai #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Jadonang Park, Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Freedom movement against British #1
  • Multi-Tasking Staff at Leima Traders
  • Toning down rhetoric that hurts religion
  • Shirui Lily fest brings to fore plastic menace
  • Conservation of pony & grazing fields
  • Kakwa Lairembi Haraoba #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The unheeded cry of children in labour
  • Why present distribution of urea fails?
  • World Day Against Child Labour 2022
  • Sunrise on the Civil Aviation Horizon
  • Arambam Samarendra Ningshingba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 June : Govt of Manipur
  • NE Ex-Super Model at Delhi Kids Fest
  • What Diphu has, Dimapur & Kohima don't
  • Towards Manipur Budget 2022-23 ...
  • NE Social & Behaviour Change inaugurated
  • Fighting corruption remains an uphill task
  • Environment needs more than tree plantation
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #3
  • COVID-19 Status 09 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Degree Certificate for Survival #2
  • Value chain management of Umorok
  • Pulses for Nutrition Security in Manipur
  • Keeping your skin oil free during summer
  • Demand for impartial probe into IMC scam
  • Politics of isolating the NSCN (IM)
  • Raas @Manipur Rajbari, W Bengal :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 June : Govt of Manipur
  • A rare book on Birds of Manipur
  • Condemns bomb blast in Manipur
  • Market Innovations made America great #2
  • Jal Jeevan Mission : PHED Manipur
  • Disturbing data on lifestyle diseases in state
  • Tough talk against drug menace
  • Trekking to Shirui Peak, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Take a leaf from sunderban if you're serious
  • Testimony of brother Ninghor Mahongnao
  • Local leaders unitedly push for One Health
  • Letters from the Republic of Dust #2
  • Soil testing for better crop production
  • Despicable threat to school
  • Outrage at Little Flower School
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 June : Govt of Manipur
  • India-Taiwan Global Bamboo Tech Forum
  • Condemns bomb attack at LFS
  • RSS chief sounds logical
  • Career options in Environmental Science
  • We reap what we sow
  • NRC in focus as keyboard warriors spar...
  • Coming together of COCOMI, UNC
  • HSE Result 2022 : Statistiscal Abstract
  • HSE Result 2022 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE Result 2022 : District-Wise Pass %
  • HSE Result 2022 :Science Topper
  • HSE Result 2022 : Arts Topper
  • HSE Result 2022 : Commerce Topper
  • HSE Result 2022 : Science Stream Result
  • HSE Result 2022 : Arts Stream Result
  • HSE Result 2022 : Commerce Stream Result
  • COVID-19 Status 05 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Nagaland: Is it fair to blame Indrajit Gupta ?
  • 4th Plenary Session of WMC at Sugnu
  • World Environment Day at Tamenglong
  • World Environment Day at Lilong
  • World Environment Day at Haraorou
  • Musing :: Poem
  • Yet another World Environment Day observed
  • Mounting pressure for solution
  • Padmashree Award Moirangthem Muktamani
  • COVID-19 Status 04 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Congested road at Shirui Village :: Gallery
  • Degree Certificate for Survival #1
  • Admission for National Sports University
  • World Environment Day at Imphal
  • Include Meeteis in the ST list
  • Inhumane act of De-addiction centres
  • UK band Monuments @ShiRock #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 June : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Provocation' charges arrests on social media
  • Gerinda Loitongbam: Natl Women Award
  • Timeless Memories :: Poem
  • Ket Meth releases music video Trauma'
  • 8 years of Modi Govt: More hits than misses
  • Bad example commanders
  • Posers parents may raise within
  • Miss Shirui Lily 2022 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Letters from the Republic of Dust #1
  • Workshop on Food Processing at Lilong
  • 1st June is the Global Day of Parents
  • 'Developing human resource in Manipur'
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)
  • 'Yoga for personality development' orgd
  • Row over boundary fencing project
  • Brain storming session of the Congress
  • Lunghar (Imp-Kohima / Jessami) #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Delphi Oinam : Topper at Nagaland HSLC
  • Teaching at Churachandpur Govt College
  • Jadonang Park at Tamenglong renovated
  • Quality seed production of rice (HYV)
  • Audiobook for NEET aspirants launched
  • Naga issue: From bush war to shadow boxing
  • Tenants in Nagaland tag on the NSCN (IM)
  • Wakhom Leikai Lairembi Haraoba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Pageant winners showcase Robert's collection
  • MIFF to pay homage to Irom Maipak
  • Awareness on Legal rights of women prisoner
  • Election petitions galore in Manipur
  • Training program on mushroom at Nagamapal
  • Must expedite process for border projects
  • Wanted : A far sighted leader
  • Naga Indigenous Wrestling :: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • UK band Monuments @ShiRock #1 :: Gallery
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #2 :: Gallery
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #2
  • Licypriya speech at East Timor :: Gallery
  • On 200th Anniversary of MK Binodini Devi
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #2: Gallery
  • Harvesting Fest of Tarao #4 :: Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta Golapati :: Gallery
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download