Karigee Kirunee Nungsiradee
Presentation of an issue / problems rather than storytelling

Ninglun Hanghal *

Karigee Kirunee Nungsiradee

Karigee Kirunee Nungsiradee

Karigee Kirunee, Nungshiradi- literally meaning "why be afraid, if you love" is a new Manipuri film by Delhi based Bimol Akoijam. A break away from the traditional films made in Manipur, it has many surprises in stored. The most obvious would be, it has no dancing around trees, loud music and of course devoid of tears and emotional scenes, though the film did have a song and heart rendering moments.

At the first instant , according to the name of the film ,one would assumed it is a "love story" and as per the story line one would even more assumed it is as a typical love story between two community set in highly volatile and sensitive socio-communal and political conflict . Moreover, according to the synopsis one would presume the film is all about violence, about conflict induced migration, of youths, their dilemmas and a transition from tradition. Much as it about socio-ethnic and political conflict, the film tries to capture the many nuances of conflicts and inter-ethnic relations and draws linkages to the huge political economic migration of youths into cities, such as Delhi.

All in all, it is an ambitious film. Running 99 minutes , the film attempts to tell too many stories, too many issues rather, from corruption to socio-political conflicts, to the city life , to a love story, and the many nuances that Manipuri people confronts in day to day life and furthermore its demographic , economic and modern transition. While the film did made a remarkable connection, contrasting yet connecting, between Delhi and Manipur, it is unlikely to draw much attraction , specially for laymen or an ordinary cinema go-ers.

It is a bit difficult to draw the line. Not an intellectual film per-se nor a commercial or an art film. As per the issue or problems, the context and setting, the film is a thin line between a documentary and a feature, overlapping between the two. It has some form and structure of a non-fiction documentary, along with highly dramatic fiction as well. For instance the relationship between the two protagonists is unrealistic. While the film over emphasis on inter personal angle, the sudden shrill and sirens, followed by silence, slow movements is rather difficult for the audience to balance the wave.

Though the film was conceptualized as a political film, it does not give any such indication. Most of the "issues and problems" that the film tries to portray are used as a background scene and are mostly "actual past incidents" scene and pictures that has already been widely known and publicized. It does not have much new-ness in that. The dramatized scenes do not touch a chord with the audience. The film though is contemporary with a strong message could not give a lasting imprints to the audience.

The interesting part of Karigee Kirunee Nungshidari is the new faces in the cast. Particularly the lead cast , Ashang ( Lucky Awungshi) and Thoibi ( Anushree Kshetrimayum) . As a new comer and most of all an amateur, the actor and actress did a very good job , including all the other cast played their role well . The dialogue is infact outstanding. This set apart the film from the normal and usual films one sees in Manipur that normally follow a certain literary trend.

No doubt Karigee Kirunee Nungshiradi will have its own audience. This is likely to comprise of the new generation middle class urban based youngsters , scholars, intellectuals and individuals who are interested in trying to understand the socio - politics surrounding Manipur. The film though is unlikely to attract the common ordinary Manipuri and non Manipuri audience(s) both in Manipur as well as Delhi, who are used to watching Bolly-wood or even Manipuri movies that has set its own trend of a highly dramatised and loud cinema.

Akoijam's film is more of giving a message. The director - film maker is attempting to portray a situation, a range of issue, socio-politics, inter-personal and community relations. Rather than audience centric it is director/film maker centric, of what he tries to narrate or portrays. The film is more of a presentation of an issue, a situation and context, rather than a story telling.

Nevertheless , on the technical front, music composition and as his first directorial debut, Akoijam deserved a compliment. His bold attempt to break away from the typical Manipuri film making tradition such as use of dialogue deserved an applause.

* Ninglun Hanghal wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is with The Sangai Express and can be contacted at hanghal(dot)ninglun(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on March 25, 2015.


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