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Film Review

By chaiiwalpola Apr 24, 2014 1337 Words
Siri Parakum

Siri parakum is a movie about the childhood of Sri Lanka's one of the most significant kings, king Parakramabahu II. It's written and directed by Somarathne Dissanayake, produced by  Renuka Balasooriya.

This is my first review. So here goes nothing.

As mentioned above, this film is created by the award winning famous director himself, Somarathne Dissanayake. After doing movies like Saroja, Punchi suranganavi, Suriya Arana etc, now the director has done his first periodic film Siri Parakum. Magnificent

So does the newest movie also stand among the previous well created movies? I would say no.

So lets start from the beginning. Shall we?

The movie starts well. Decent performances all around. Mr.Dissanayake goes on creating a good back-story with a nice humor mixed in.

But the real magic in the first hour or so in the movie was the little prince himself. Although I was taken aback slightly by the very first line the boy delivers which sounded unnatural and should have been reshooted, the boy quickly becomes the center of attention to everybody.  

Mr.Dissanayake doe what he does best. All the scenes including children are fun to watch and Mr.Dissanayake succeeds with his strategy again. Children at this age( around this age) do not act with experience or the level of understanding. They act naturally and without caring about the outcome, which, if captured properly in a movie, does marvels.

The chemistry between  Chandani Senevirathne's character and the boy is charming in the first half of the movie with comedic dialogues which keeps the audience wanting more.The middle group of actors also do a great job maintaining the charm in the movie. Partnership

Well, after the first half or so of the movie, the charm begins to wear off. The audience keeps asking for more, but the movie just doesn't provide more. The story keeps revolving around the same idea and ends without any notable climax.

What I was really disappointed was about the story of the movie. It ends in a disturbing manner and kept me puzzled when I was leaving the cinema hall. It felt like a loosely combined story of several small stories which brings up absolutely nothing to the main story. I mean, where is the hero parakramabahu the second? What did the protagonist actually do?

If you didn't get what I said in the last paragraph let me tell you once again, We see a young man who has forgotten about his true origin, doing some mesmerizing stuff in the village. The boy-genius lady-killer, one day rests under a tree with his girlfriend and suddenly an elephant comes and kneel before him and people start calling him the king. HOORAY! Wait, is that it?  Yes, that's pretty much it. It reminded me of Cinderella, except this time, we are talking about a man rescued  by an elephant.

The boy does nothing heroic or kingly to deserve what he gets. He dreams of leaving the palace when he is small  and his wish is granted. He dreams of a girl, the girls is his. He dreams to become a more respected person and suddenly an elephant comes and he is the king. Lucky guy.

Then the king wonders around the village like a boss with his queen smilling to everyone around. Don't get me wrong here, I am not saying it is not funny. But I expected more from a director who has exceptional films like Saroja under his belt.

Another disturbing fact is the revelation of who is the main villain in the story. The evil queen? or the chief priest? I am a Buddhist myself but still it felt very disturbing when the General (senevi) and the chief priest secretly plot to kill the new king. Not just that, it is done in  the middle of a Pirith Deshanawa. Correct me if I am wrong, but come on,seriously? It just didn't felt like an act of a monk at all.

In movies these kind of things happen,mind you. People, or even the heroes, do something bad for greater good. But in all those occasions convincing justifications are provided. But in this case no such justification is given as to why this king,his wife and his guards are brutally murdered by one the heroes in the story with the blessings of a great monk. To me the only wrong doing of the king apart from having an evil mother(which was not his fault,obviously )was being sleepy in the middle of a Piritha. (and being a non- Buddhist) . Maybe that's why non Buddhists these days don't invite monks for piritha in their houses.( that was a bad joke).

The love triangle has its charm in the beginning but looses it shortly.The idea of king kneeling in front of a Govirala is interesting though. A fresh idea nicely perform.

Nothing much to say about the acting though. Even even if the film carries lot of experiences talented actors and actresses there is nothing really exceptional like you usually find in a  Somarathne Dissanayake film. Talented people like Palitha Silva,Chandani Senevirathne,Bimal Jayakodi,Jayani Senanayake were not given much story time or character space.  They felt like flat characters or supporting bystander creating nothing new. A somewhat decent  performance by Sachini Ayendra as the evil queen herself. Something has to be said about the actor Ashan Dias who seems to have real talent. For the second time he proves himself after Alimankada.Who knows, he might be the next Gamini Fonseka.

But this much I can say, I went to the film hall  expecting another mind blowing performance like Jackson Anthony in Suriya Arana or emotional performance like Dulika Marapana in Samala Thatu, but came out of the hall disappointed on that aspect.

The songs are beautiful as ever. Well written and music is magnificent is those songs. Mr.Dissanayake scores again with his songs and shows to all those directors copying the exact songs from Bollywood who is real the boss. Same cannot be said about the background music though. Nothing very interesting there.

To conclude my review , I should say to all those who go to the film hall looking for a bit of relaxation or to see your kids laughing in the middle of the film, this film is to you. But to those who expecting another intriguing piece of art by an award winning director, the chances are that this would not be your movie.

This is the age of periodic films in Sinhala cinema. Everyone tries to do it. And no matter whether they are good or bad, lot of people come to watch them. We are a race which is very proud of our history. We want to get away from the complex present and dream to live in that simple past. In all these periodic movies, past is a beautiful place, with good people and lots of fun all around. So it's not a big mystery why directors always makes these movies.

But have we really lost our creativity there? Building up a story which has already happened and not really bringing up a new idea to the table? Do we really have  the technology or the budget to create such historical events? Clearly, no. superbly

There is a reason why in this movie, the story ending just after the coronation. Because the creators couldn't pull out the great battle scene between Parakramabahu the second and Magha. Why do we always consider stories which we ,as an industry, are yet unable to do when there are millions of other subject which modern directors haven't even thought to touch? Why can't we be a little more bit creative? Even if it's a periodic film, can't it just be about creative but small incidents rather than great kings and great wars? Do we always have to make cheap versions of epic historical tales for the sake of getting a larger audience? 

Something to think about........ 

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