Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri LankaSri Lankan By at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Original Article from Sandeshaya Sri Lannka – The Art of Sri Lankan Cinema.

Story
Finally, Handagama has broken ice. It was the second welcoming news of this year, relating to Sri Lankan cinema, after the news that Chinta and Udaya managed to arrange a premiere of their debut How I Wonder What You Are. The invitation stated “Asoka Handagama is back with a difference.” The “difference” was too hard to predict, given that Handagama was/is a relentless rebelpar excellence, surviving in the alternative wave he established. Having directed five features, he could screen only two locally, while the rest were censored and/or forbidden. After the aborted mission with Aksharaya (Letters of Fire), Handagama’s dominant silence gave a warning that Sri Lanka was not a space for free expression. In this context, the impending ‘difference’ seemed an anaesthetic to the cankering deadliness of the present cinema at home.

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The film features an adolescent boy called Vidhu, presumably, an offshoot of a politician. With no birth certificate,
he is denied access to free education. His mother, a prostitute and pickpocket, educates him and pushes him up the ladder. With his inborn skill of speaking, he overwhelms the whole country and achieves what he has been “dreaming in daylight.” Simultaneously, the politician, insinuated to be his father, tries to manoeuvre Vidhu to attract audiences to his superior’s election rallies. The catalyst of the film revolves around the politicians’ arduous attempt at manipulating the child into speaking on the political stage, and the child’s resistance to speaking on the school stage at the same time. The story entails a layer of fantasy, and achieves a closure similar to that of Slumdog Millionaire.

In terms of commercial concerns, undoubtedly, Vidhu is going to be the hit of the year. Unlike the hitherto made Handagama films, this is a film ‘for the whole family.’ After the premiere, the majority seemed quite ‘satisfied,’ and almost everyone I spoke to and overheard, was applauding Handagama’s “difference.” The film embodies many aspects of a successful commercial film, as it is packed with action, suspense, mystery, humour and emotions. With the shift of the usual approach, the director allows his film to be dominated by colourful images and flamboyant music resembling a rock music style. More notably, unlike in Aksharaya, Thani Thatuwen Piyabanna, and Me Mage Sandai, Handagama appeals to the emotions of the audience and makes them shed tears. The scene of Vidhu’s speech on the tree, with a stolen microphone, is an ideal example in this regard. This is a colossal departure in the Handagam style, which used to address the intellect of the audience, rather than emotions; the spectators’ head, not their heart. Instantly, the film filled me with enormous pleasure, because Handagama is able to prove himself to be versatile with it. His filmography, oftentimes, made him vulnerable to be stigmatized as a “freak” by some Sri Lankan cinema ‘intellectuals’. His war films were invariably branded as part of NGO sponsored anti-governmental projects. In the case of Thani Thatuwen Piyabanna, all the cinematic conceits were undermined by the over emphasised fact that he had exposed his wife’s nudity. Finally, with Vidhu, he pats his critics’ heads and knocks on them, exhibiting his capability to excel in the Somarathna Dissanayake tradition. Of course, Vidhu presents a criticism of the contemporary economic and socio-political issues of Sri Lanka. Vidhu’s mother has to “sin”, to keep the son alive. As she says to the son, her value vacillates by the day, and when it has no value, she cannot help but pick pockets. The politician, a former lover of hers, typifies a Sri Lankan politician entrapped in the impenetrable mire of corruption and misuse of power. However, unfortunately, the social criticism presented by the film does not contain an iota of the highly trenchant Handagama style, which is profound and poetic. Also, the character of the politician is relegated to a caricature, heightening the sense of humour. In these terms, I was overwhelmed by a recurring sense of sadness, on second thoughts. Considering that this was made by Handagama, the undaunted pioneer of an alternative wave, Sri Lankan cinematic wave, the unprecedented ‘difference’ is tragic.
In fact, more than a ‘difference’, it is a colossal transformation. As a friend of mine commented, “This is Handagama’s metamorphosis from the butterfly with one wing to a wingless caterpillar”. In my opinion, he was not a butterfly, but a poisonous wasp. Eventually, his fangs have been removed, and made him a butterfly, tamed and confined in a deadly cocoon. This situation raises the need to see as to why this ‘evolution’ was necessitated. As Handagama emphasised at the premiere, the film is “made for children”. Frankly, it is made to pacify infantile temperaments of ‘adults’, in relevant authoritative bodies in charge of the cinema, who valourise ‘children’s films’.
Eventually, Handagama has been relegated to another supplier of commodities, and the shrine he built with his
previous films has been desecrated thus. Vidhu kills one of the last remaining hopes for Sri Lankan cinema, and by
no means is Handagama martyred in this death. The only remaining hope would be to assume that Handagama has
been aware of his metamorphosis.

from nation.lk

Cast & Crew
ByAsoka Handagama
Co- Produced By Iranthi Abeyasinghe
Jagath Wijenayaka
Prashant Rathi & Kanwar Inder Rai
Prasanna Vithanage

Staring
Chandani Senevirathne

Introducing
Thanishka Vimalarathne
Shamila Nimanthi Frenando
Himasal Liyanage
With
Asoka De Soysa
Lanka Bandaranayaka
Amarapala Karasingharachchi
Shyam Fernando
Bhanu Prasanna
Ranjith Marasinghe

Director of Photography Channa Deshapriya

Editor Ravindra Guruge

Art Director Sunil Wijerathna

Music Kapila Poogalaarachchi

Make up Hemantha Gamage

Costumes Lucky Athauda Rangith Marasinghe

Sound Controller Aruna Priyantha Kaluarachchi

Sound Recodists Geethananda Serasinghe Nimal Perera

Song
Composer: Kapila PoogalaarachchI
Lyrics: Asoka Handagama
Vocalists: Nelu Adhikari Kapila Poogalaarachchi

Assistant Director Prasad Lakmal Darmarathna

Production Manager Manjula Perera

Assistant Department
2nd Asistant Director – Dilanka Ranganath
3rd Asistant Director – Kasun Pathirana

Script Supervisor – Jeewanthi Manik Kodithuwakku

Casting Assistant – Upamali Shanika Nuwarapaksha

Art Department
On-Set Assistant Art Director – Sunil Premarathna
Art Department Assistant – Kamal Wigesinghe Ibagamuwa – Upul Priyashantha Liyanage

Foley Artist Podimahaththaya

Editing Assistant Ajith Ramanayaka

Title Graphics Ishara Lakmal De Silva

Production Assistants Sameera Lasantha Priyantha Samaraweera

Makeup Assistant Asiri Chaturanga

Artificial Limbs Premanath Jayasekara

Costume Assistant Sanjaya Marasinghe

Camera Unit Gaffer – Ariyarathna Perera
1st Camera Assistant – Anura Kodithuwakku
Camera Assistants – Kapila Sugath Samantha Nishshanka D.H.J.K. Disanayake Asanka Suranjan

Technical Crew Jagath Nandana Vithana Sunil Shantha Harsha Wikum Chathuranga Wijerathna Hiran Buddhika Rangana Prasad Gunathilake

Visual Effects Rusiru Tharinda Pannila

Supporting Characters Kasun Pathirana, Suresh De Silva, Chanaka Neranjan, Reyency Ranjith, Jagath Nandana Vithana, Asanka Priyathilaka, Ananda Kularathna, Sugath Bandara, Helan Dilrukshi, E.M. Samithra, Sharintha Weerasinghe, Shalinda Perera, Thamindu Thilanka Kodithuwakku, Thisara Somodya, Deena Jayani, Irusha Dilrukshi, Neluka Perera, Nimesh Dilshan, Asanka Senadeera, Manjula Perera, Lucky Athauda, Nishshanka De Silva, Gayan Deshapriya, Lahiru Perera, Dinesh Suranga, W.K. Mariya Theres Fernando, A. Jayamaha, Priyantha Peiris, Indika Thilak, Asoka Senadheera, Jude Nimalarathne, Ajith Ananda, Rohana Priyathilaka, Geeth Nishantha,
Sajith Nishshanka, R.P. Yamuna Nilangani, T.A. Nilaksha Maleesha, Nidarshani Samarakoon, Ayanthika Lakshani, Shashikala Sewwandi, Geethika Nishani, Achala Udayanthi, A.G.N. Anthony, Asanka Fernando, W.J. Jhonson, Rukshan Kumara, J.R. Fernando, W.D.N. Fernando, Wasana Sampath, Uvindu Ishanka, Niroshan Lakmal, Menuka Rahul, Pasindu, Supun Madhushan (HP), B.M. Thilina Dhasun,
Prabhatha Sampath.

Supporting Cast Sachitha Chamith, Suranga Nipun, Krishan Hiranga Chandana, Charuka Shalinda, Chathura Nadeesha, Kavindu Irusha,
Rasitha Achini, Sumaal Dinithi, Ishara Anun, Isaru Suressh, Naveen Amith, Janith Samagi, Ranga Surendra, Nalin Kannangara, Suneth Dinusha, Kamal Wejesinghe, S. Indika, Nirosha Lakmalee, Florida Perera, Danuanjana Ranjan, Reeta Joslin, Jhone Nikalas, Shiromi Sumedha Weerasinghe

Photos
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan   Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya   Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Sinhala Film Vidhu By  Asoka Handagama at Sandeshaya Sri Lanka

Photos and information from http://vidhu.lk/

Original Article from Sandeshaya Sri Lannka – The Art of Sri Lankan Cinema.

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