Gun and A God :: Documentary film

Mansingh Nepram *

A scene fromGun and A God

A scene from Gun and A God

Movie Review: Gun and A God
Cast: Purnima, Shreema Ningombam,
Director: Sonia Nepram

Stitched in a 30 minutes documentary, Gun and A God, directed competently by Sonia Nepram, opens with a light hearted narration of Purnima(an ex-convict) at a corner of a gleam room. We join Purnima, dress in a red sleeveless shirt painfully narrating her unfortunate events which lead to her joining a separatist outfit. She has been outcast, beaten by men in her life and made to undergo unbearable feelings from her childhood days. Her tale of an incident when she was an insurgent is gripping but lacks authenticity as Ms. Nepram intentionally avoids giving finer details of Purnima's outfit and other factual informations about the incident to the viewers.

What Ms. Nepram conveys through Gun and A God is that the violence against women is a living breathing secret of Manipur society and the people who suffer, matters. Truth is stranger than fiction, and so "Gun and A God" is based on real events.

If the documentary falters occasionally, blame it on the one way traffic of Purnima. The first time a real conversation takes place is when someone shyly asked Purnima's mother "Shi mafamse karino?" of which she replies "Khangde ne". By that time it's too late for the viewers to come back and keep engaging like they did before.

Still, 'Gun and A God' benefits on the account of Purnima's humane side where she makes her objectives of searching her loved ones and fulfilling her responsibilities as a human being. Her initiatives of taking her mother for a bath and giving formal education to her children reminds us that every human being no matter what wrong path they take, can be corrected through proper counselling and therapy by crushing their mental barriers.

Ms. Nepram also tries to bring an advanced story telling method of creating a sub part, by introducing Shreema Ningombam and circling back the story of Purnima. While it normally works in long stories like the TV series Lost, the timing of the insertion makes the viewer wonder whether it was necessary.

Of the lead, Purnima justifies her role quite brilliantly. Pretending to be normal without any problem is much easier than being real and sharing stories in front of the whole wide world. Her emotional outbursts when her starved son was not given a meal by her husband might move some of you. Credits must be given to Aruna Sapam, the director herself and her dedicated team for making Purnima comfortable in front of the camera as well as strangers.

Special credits must be given to Akee Sorokhaibam for his flawless editing. The scene where Purnima's mother walks slowly and unknowingly drops her jewelleries in the pond is one to watch out for. Also to Paonam Thoibi and director again for translating Meiteilon to English.

I am going with 2.5 out of 5 for director Sonia Nepram's 'Gun and A God'. The content is powerful. So are the facts and the message. By putting more emotions which truly connect with the viewers, her direction could have been better. Empowering life to a hopeful soul, she gives us a valuable lesson that you don't want to miss.

Catch, Download and Watch 'Gun and A God'

* This review is provided to by Mansingh Nepram who can be contacted at mansinghnepram(at)gmail(dot)com
Say hi to @mansinghnepram on Twitter
This article was webcasted on March 24, 2013.


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