Directed By: Prasanna Vithanage
Few films have been so eagerly awaited as Prasanna Vithanage's new production "Anantha Rathriya". In his first film "Sisila Ginigani" he displayed in a remarkable mastery of the medium. Though eclectic in the sense that he was obviously influenced by the best masters of western cinema as all serious film makers particularly in their first film one bound to be, he exploited a wide range of Technical fireworks which may have affected the content of his story.
In his new film "Anantha Rathriya" he is much more restrained and disciplined without sacrificing his control over the technical powers of the cinema, using low-key lighting, colours which are the mood of the different sequences and his use of subliminal flashbacks and sound effects as well as silence in a very intelligent and clever manner.
His story adapted from Leo TOLSTOY's Last novel is, in Prasanna's version a study of a man's conscience - The man who in his youth has seduced a young servant girl abandoned her, and to his horror is in his mature and adult life selected to serve, on a jury which has to find a women guilty or not for murder. The woman by a strange, coincidence is the young woman, now a prostitute. During the trail she, the accused, shows no signs of recognizing the man who is responsible for her tragic life - but in a clever twist of the plot, which it would be a pity to reveal, the man is faced with a tragic dilemma the final shot is haunting in its power to move and illuminate. Avoiding the temptation of transforming this tale, into a thriller it becomes and intense stuffy of guilt and in the end revenge.
Swarna Mallawarachchi is magnificent as the victim and Ravinda Randeniya give what could be his most convincing and intense performance. A problem, which might bother our critics and filmgoers, is that Ravi - as a young student is played by another younger actor, which could stretch credibility. It did not bother me Photography and editing are excellent.
|Dr. Lester James Peiris
Eminent Sri Lankan Film Maker