lesson on the futility of war
The invitation was for an Auction. 'Centigrade 7.28 - Bidding for
War' it said. Minimum bid mentioned was "Tears of 23 years
+ (12.5% VAT)'.
This unusual invitation was for the premiere of Sudath Mahaadiulwewa's
maiden cinematic effort 'Sudu Kalu saha Alu' which he called 'Shades
for Ash', at the Regal. Sudath from the days he was a shy quiet
copywriter at TAL, showed signs of thinking afresh, wanting to do
something different. His creative abilities were obvious even at
that stage. With 'Sudu Kalu saha Alu' he joins the band of young
filmmakers who are an extremely talented lot capable of turning
out world class fare.
talks of the futility of war. And he does so most effectively convincing
everyone what a meaningless pursuit it is. The story is set in a
border village and revolves round the original settlers who return
from a refugee camp to the village devastated by war. They don't
have the basic essentials - not even water because the tank from
which they got their water is poisoned by the terrorists. They have
to depend on a bowser which brings water to the village. Sudath
had obviously done a lot of research to develop the key characters
in the film.
there are some daring sequences involving very human situations
(the film is recommended for adults), Sudath handles them well.
The reaction of the soldier who returns home on leave to find his
bride in the arms of another young man is just one example. The
soldier meets with an accident, goes off his head and becomes a
wreck. To look after him, the wife needs money. To get the money
she has to sell her body. The ultimate tragedy capsules the story
of 'Sudu Kalu saha Alu'.
film has given some of our popular actors an opportunity to prove
how versatile they are. Sudath has got the best out of them guiding
and directing them cleverly. Mahendra Perera as the soldier excels.
He portrays the transformation from a young energetic soldier to
a helpless young man who loses his way remarkably well. Sriyantha
Mendis as the blind protector of the ashram thinking of the good
old days shows a freshness from the vast array of roles we see him
on the small screen. Sanath Gunatilleka puts in his maximum effort
to any role he plays. Apart from driving his bus, he is a smart
operator in the village. Dilani Ekanayake does her bit perfectly.
introduces two characters to the village who have their own agendas.
One is the school head, played convincingly by Vasantha Kotuwella,
who is sent to this remote village on punishment transfer. Ruwan
de Costa's photography and maestro Khemadasa's music coupled with
classy acting and inspired direction makes 'Sudu Kalu saha Alu'
‘a must' for the keen filmgoer.
This column also acknowledges the talents of Jayantha Chandrasiri
who, with his last effort 'Guerilla Marketing' once again proves
himself a gifted filmmaker with new ideas who is not afraid to experiment.
At a time when we are bombarded with advertisements whether it be
TV, radio or the print media, Jayantha gives an insight into the
planning and execution of a publicity campaign. The campaign revolves
round a Presidential election, a subject under much discussion right
generally accepted that creative guys in advertising agencies are
a different breed. They are always looking for new ideas and new
ways of executing those ideas. In the process they may come up with
outrageous concepts but never do we hear of a creative director
literally going crazy. Jayantha goes to the extreme of driving the
creative director (superbly portrayed by Kamal Addaraarachchi) mad
and sending him to the mental asylum. The man is obsessed by his
own creative effort.
this theme dominates the film, Jayantha brings a humane twist to
the whole story. In his childhood days the creative director has
had a soft corner for his cousin. Their close relationship continues
when they are undergrads. They lose contact when she (played by
Yashoda Wimaladharma) decides to go abroad for further studies.
By the time she gets back, he is married.
selection of a traditional dance family to discuss the childhood
days of the duo is a clever move. While exposing the traditional
rhythms, Jayantha makes full use of folk songs to create a new form
of film music, with maestro Khemadasa giving us yet another memorable
score. Hopefully these songs will be made available in a CD for
portrayal of the Presidential candidate by Jackson Anthony in his
inimitable style is yet another treat. He is such a versatile actor
capable of changing from one role to another with the utmost ease.
so heartening to see our new generation of filmmakers moving away
from the stereotyped themes and trying their hand at something different
and unusual, yet providing clean entertainment. It's a pity that
we do not see this happening in the teledrama scene which is going
from bad to worse except for an occasional bright spot.