On Mami Sami and films in Manipur

By: Khingba Luwangcha *

This is regarding the review of film 'Mami sami' by Thangjam (O) Joyce Hungyo (posted at your site).

To be very frank I have not watched the movie at all. Her fascinating review encouraged me to do some research and find out more about the movie and if possible get a copy of the movie and watch.

I came across two more reviews on the same movie. One is by Pradip Phanjoubam, I believe, he's the Editor of Imphal Free Press and another by Tanya Sana Rajkumari .

All the three reviews affirm that Mami Sami is a moview worth watching, although Mr. Phanjoubam finds the movie long. He commented, "All this just to spell out the core message that it was a situational tragedy ? as if the audience had to be spoon fed.

Come on, nobody, except the hopelessly retarded, needs to be told sugar is sweet. Moreover, a little bit of the sense of incompleteness of form is an aesthetic tool to evoke heighten interest, which is why a circle or a square is considered less interesting aesthetically than an oval or a rectangle. You don?t have a square television set do you."

On the other hand, Mrs. Thangjam states, "Although the movie could have ended when Wangthoi (male protagonist; Sadananda) slapped Tayal when she attempted suicide, the elaboration of the story with the culmination of a heart-wrenching cry by Tayal is an emphatic reminder on the part of Lancha to stress the point that woman's emotional trauma/suffering has not been recognized at least in the public domain as of today."

I totally agree with her. Our women-folk are used by everyone - political parties, parties and parties (underground), the army, police and everyone. Her contradictory insight is interesting and makes one ask if Mr. Phanjoubam is not gender sensitive despite running a newspaper and even more does he forget that everyone is not as intellectually gifted as him!

Miss Rajkumari's review is very sweet, a straight from the heart appreciation of the movie.

These reviews have asserted that Mami Sami has destroyed many of widely held views on Manipuri digital cinema. A year or so back, one of the juries, Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, for an annual award of manipuri digital films wrote, "Most films are amateurish and have lots of rooms for improvement. Flatness of character and weak characterization and lack of narrative tension in the story are prominent in almost all the films.

Technically, in general the lights do not register the ?spatio-temporal? reality within which the characters are located, and the sounds do not capture the three-dimension of the represented world.

Editing tends to be jarring in most cases while cinematography and composition of shots are often in variance with the motif of characters and the intentional field of the scene... On the technical side, there is hardly anything noteworthy to write home... Sincerity of approach and clarity of understanding of the cinematic craft will go a long way in shaping a unique Manipuri cinema

Now, I believe one should take Mr. Akoijam's comments on Mami Sami and ask if he agrees that Mami Sami has set a new set of standard in Manipuri digital cinema making in Manipur.

I am happy for another reason. Personally, I also considered digital Manipuri films as time-pass stuffs. Sometimes, I feel embarassed by the loud make-up, cheap accessories and imitations of Bollywood style as Miss Rajkumari has pointed out. But the fact that people have seriously started writing about Manipuri digital films show that some professionalism is demanded from the film makers.

The films have become a part and parcel of our society and a much needed medium of entertainment and leisure.

We are talking about Manipur where children's park is new concept, and tourist spots are occupied by para-military forces, Sangais are killed, Zoo is a jungle with very few animals and over and above cinema halls are converted into school or shopping mall and so on.

Movie makers must take note of what people are writing about their products. Like Mr. Phanjoubam has pointed out majority of Manipuris are intellectually gifted ones. Or take the case of Mrs. Thangjam, her citation of Akira Kurusawa and other relevent insights show that we've serious movie buffs in Manipur.

Congratulations on her great review once again and thanking her for introducing me to Mami Sami. I promise to watch it without fail.

* Khingba Luwangcha, a resident of New Delhi, contributes to e-pao.net for the first time.
The writer can be contacted at khingba(at)rediffmail(dot)com .
This article was webcasted on November 04, 2008.


Who is the Best Actress?

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  • * Kamala
  • * Manda
  • * Sonia
  • * Sunila


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