TV Times

Kuweni a fresh look at first queen

By Susitha R. Fernando

Veteran playwright Sugath Samarakone’s maiden cinema production ‘Vijaya Kuweni’ with a new interpretation to the story that comes in Mahawamsa chronicle is ready to be released next month.
Having produced the much talked about plays like ‘Uthure Rahula Himi’ and ‘Commando Diyasena’ in 1980s, ‘Vijaya Kuweni’ is a fresh interpretation to the story that hints on Sri Lanka’s first civilization.

Produced by Gayan Ranadeera, the script of Samarakoon which was written under the guidance of expert historian Professor Mendis Rohanadheera and Suddahamy a retired principal who is well versed in the story relates to Lanka’s royal lineage was rated by the National Film Corporation as one of the outstanding production.

Young and up and coming actress Dulani Anuradha plays the role of Kuweni while Roger Senevirathne plays Vijeya. Anura Dharmawiriwardena, Buddhadasa Withanarachchi, Cletus Mendis, Sandun Wijesiri, Sarath Dikkumbura with host of other actors and actresses comprise the cast.

Sugath who Studied cinema in England for more than 10 years prepared as his thesis the film script of Vijaya-Kuweni story for his final exam. “I have omitted the mysterious elements of the Mahawamsa story and highlighted the human story of Kuweni which is suited for all time,” says Samarakone in his script.

“I wrote the script ten years ago, well before the recent trend of making historical movies in Sri Lanka,” he said. “The most important idea I wanted to depict in this film is that even after 2500 years the human qualities with negative traits like greed, hatred and power hunger has not changed but got worsened,” Samarakone said.

The film tackles contemporary issues like the plight women, broken families and the fate of children in a male dominated world and parents who abandon their children for worldly gains. For nearly two months the film was shot in various locations around the country including Anuradhapura, Gampaha, Riverston and Negombo.

The film was cinematographed by Ayeshmantha Hettiarachchi, while Dinesh Jayashantha handled art direction and make up by Vasantga Vittachchi with music being directed by Nadeeka Guruge. Vijaya-Kuweni is slated to be released at NFC’s Ridma circuit cinemas.

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