TV Times

Sreekar Prasad talks about the difference between Indian and Sri Lankan films
By Susitha R. Fernando
Well-known Indian film editor Sreekar Prasad played the crucial role editing ‘Mangal Pandey’ which had its release last week worldwide including Sri Lanka.
Prasad is the editor of renowned films like 'Ashoka', 'Sathiya', 'Dil Chahta Hai' and 'Kannathil Muthamuttal'. The name is not alien to Sri Lankan film audience as he was the editor in the internationally recognised filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage's last film Ira Mediyama (August Sun).

In an exclusive interview to TV Times, Prasad shared some of ideas and experiences working in the India’s latest, the major production 'Mangal Pandey' and the Sri Lankan film to which he was involved. TV Times: Was Mangal Pandey a different experience for you? And what challenges you did you face?
Answer: The film was a big and costly production. And it also was a period film based on a true historical story. And it also was a film involving Ameer Khan in a production after number of years.

The plot revolves around the beginning of a revolt and this also was most important period for India as it was beginning of the struggle for the freedom from the colonial powers. Because of all these factors everybody had lot of expectation which we had to fulfil. Most importantly we had to maintain the dramatic sequences alive. These were some of the challenges I had to face editing 'Mangal Pandey'.

TV Times: Did you have to maintain the historical story?
A: Though set in a historical background I think the story shown is quite contemporary in the present context as well. In 'Mangal Pandey', it is shown through the East-India Company how the powerful one's manipulated the less powerful countries which is a reality even at present.

The film shows how opium smuggling to China through the East-India company was done and when it comes to the present context this happens even at present though in a different manner. And this is the reality when it comes to Sri Lanka too. So the film was not only totally of history but also what is happening at present and had to be kept in mind by the editor.

TV Times: It was said that the main actor Ameer Khan was observing until the final cut of the film. What kind of pressure you had working under the main actor's observation?

A: Ameer had lot of interest in the post production. We didn't have any interference but it was only participation. Once I completed the editing he gave his suggestions and where I felt necessary I made changes. It was only a part of the collective effort and I felt he was intimately involved in the subject. It was not only in the editing but also he was involved in other areas of the film such as sound, art direction and even music.

TV Times: What was the experience you had working for a Sri Lankan film?
A: I worked only with Prasanna Vithanage in his film Ira Mediyama.
This film had a lot of reality unlike the bollywood films for which I mostly work. What I have felt about the film was it was a thought provoking film. And it was a totally different experience. There are a lot of thought which had to visually unfolded without words.

The film director makes you think and I thoroughly enjoyed working for this type of film.

TV Times: What are the major differences you felt these types of Sri Lankan films and Indian films?

A: When compared to the films of the type such as Prasanna's directions I see a lot of differences between the Indian films and Sri Lankan ones.
Bollywood films mainly concentrate on the entertainment aspect and there is a lot of fantasy and they are fiction based. Though there are some films similar to films that are made in Sri Lanka most of Bollywood films are mainstream with songs and dances.


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