Leonard Woolf’s village in the jungle is a fascinating novel written about the life of the peasants in Sri Lanka during the British rule. The story takes place in a remote jungle village called “Baddegama”. The writer recalls the strange happenings not only within Baddegama but also in its surroundings. The story is between a high cast family and a low cast family and how a foreign man who comes to the village influences these two families. The story goes on describing how the low cast family is suffered by the high cast family and their friends in the village.
In 1980, Sir Lester James Peries released a superb film based on this well known novel, naming it “Baddegama”. The film helped the novel to be as real as it was in the reader’s imagination as it gave faces to the main characters such as “Silindu”, and his two daughters, “Punchi Manika” and “Hinnihamy”, “Babun”, also not forgetting the cruel native doctor “Punchirala”, the village headman “Bebehamy” and “Fernando” the man who ruined the peace in Baddegama.
However in the book “village in the jungle”, Leonard Woolf has described the story approaching the reader in three different aspects which the film barely touched. As for one such characteristic is the use of dialogue. In the book, Woolf has used so much of dialogue, where as in the film less dialogue is seen. This is the first characteristic I saw when I watched the film. It felt as the book it self gave the needed pictures through the use of dialogue than the film. This was clearly seen in the scene where Fernando comes to the house of Babun and Punchi Manika. The conversation between Babun and Fernando when he says he wants Babun to be the “Gambaraya”. “Yes, aiya, we know that. The tank was built in my father’s time. And…….Appu was dead of the fever, and that his wife had gone away, and no one knew where she had gone” And also when Punchi Manika asked Fernando about the British women in Colombo, the film has given little dialogue of Fernando...
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