A Gripping Movie
The most creditable feature I see in this film is the boldness of the director in not making this film a nationalists’ dream or propaganda for the government by having a good balance depicting both sides to the story, the Sri Lanka Army and the terrorists. He has been courageous to show an army officer getting enraged by two of his platoon getting killed by a bomb thrown by the LTTE activist brother of the Tamil girl who later becomes the wife of Mahasen, by shooting dead, the elderly father and the mother of the family. Mahasen who always think of an equitable world dares to challenge his own superior by death, to prevent the girl in the Tamil family too getting killed by the rampaging Sinhala superior officer. The girl, who has no connection to the LTTE, ends up in an I.D.P camp where Mahasen finds her later. The Director undoubtedly has taken a grave risk by trying to tell the truth.
The cast does not have any famous “stars” as such, but are full of well known talented character actors such as Saumya Liyanage who gives another superb performance as Mahasen the officer. Bimal Jayakody as LTTE area leader, Kaushalya Fernando and Damitha Abeyratne as LTTE female cadres, Chandani Seneviratne as Mahasen’s sister. They all give excellent performances in this film. I believe the veteran actress Suvineetha Weerasighe’s portrayal of Herath Manike the conservative mother of Mahasen is overdoing her role.It sometimes is amusing.
A special mention must be made of the two new comers Tasha Dharshani as Thiiruba and Udara Rathnayake as Rakitha the Corporal. My view is that both these new comers in no way do commit any injustice to the roles they play.
This film carries some spell binding war front scenes which have never been seen so realistically in local cinema. The brutality of the war is thoroughly portrayed by some action sequences which are as equal to any good international film on war. If anyone needs to see how brutal the Elam war was, seeing this film is recommended for the realism alone. But there is much more to be appreciated in the film.
The cinematography is exceptional in relation to the high standards seen in good films. Kalinga Deshapriya who is the director of cinematography who is supposed to be a new comer, depicts the qualities of a veteran through his camera eye. For instance the lonely corporal injured in the leg, retreating from the enemy is shown in a vast expanse of barren and brown landscape portraying the enormity of the impossible task the corporal is trying to achieve. The man is only a dot in the landscape when compared the enormity and futility of the task he has to achieve.
The music score of Rohana Weerasighe though sometimes tries to outdo the importance of visual portrayal is mostly appropriate and enhances the effects of the sequences.
The film story is narrated with frequent flashbacks and one should be discreet to connect the sequences correctly. Here is a film which speaks loudly to the entire nation very forcefully , that there is absolutely no meaning in having social barriers, which had divided this country for over thirty years. It is only compassion and harmony which will bring us all, peace and prosperity. The director should be congratulated for giving this forceful message despite serious odds and achieving the highest artistic standards good films should achieve. The officer Mahasen of the Sri Lanka Army, having been captured by the LTTE is given a choice to join them as a Major of the “Tamil Elam Army” which request is straight away refused by him. Then as he turns to leave the LTTE office he is shot at point blank range by the LTTE area leader. The last words of the Sinhala officer is “Thiruba, Thiruba” his young Tamil wife’s name. Need I say more.
IRA HANDA YATA - Part 1