මහරජ ගැමුණු නැරඹුවෙමි.

maharaja gemunu

කොහොමටත් මම මහරජ ගැමුණු බලන්න ගියේ වැඩි බලාපොරොත්තු තබාගෙන නෙවෙයි. බිරිඳටත් දරුවටත් චිත්‍රපටයක් පෙන්වන්න වුවමනාව තිබුණු නිසාත්, ළඟම තිබුණු සිනමා හලේ තිබුණේ මහරජ ගැමුණු නිසාත් වෙන විකල්පයක් තිබුණේ නැහැ. මහරජ ගැමුණු චිත්‍රපටයේ කොටස් රූපවාහිනියෙන් දුටුවිටම මෙය දුර්වල නිර්මාණයක් බව හැඟී ගියා.

මම ජයන්ත චන්ද්‍රසිරිගේ අග්නිදාහය ඉතාමත් ආශාවෙන් බැලුවා. එය අතිශයින්ම විශිෂ්ට නිර්මාණයක්. ඈත යුගයක ලංකාවේ සමාජ, දේශපාලන, සංස්කෘතික පසුබිම මොනවට පිළිබිඹු වුණා අග්නිදාහයෙන්. ඒ වගේම තමයි නළු නිළියන්ගේ රඟපෑම් සහ සංගීතය. මහරජ ගැමුණු, අග්නිදාහය අහලකින්වත් යන චිත්‍රපටයක් නෙවෙයි. මේ චිත්‍රපට දෙකම කළේ එකම අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයාද කියල හිතෙන තරමට මහරජ ගැමුණු දුර්වලයි.

මෙම චිත්‍රපටය නිර්මාණය කළේ බොහෝ පර්යේෂණ කර බව අධ්‍යක්ෂ ජයන්ත චන්ද්‍රසිරි කොතරම් පුන පුනා කීවත් චිත්‍රපටයේ එවන් පර්යේෂණයක සේයාවක්වත් දකින්නට නැහැ. කතා පිටපත අතිශයින්ම දුරවලයි. මීට වැඩි නිර්මාණශීලී පිවිසුමක් ජයන්ත වගේ අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයෙක්ගෙන් රසිකයින් බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා.  නිකන්ම නිකන් මුල ඉඳලා අගට කතන්දර කියන්න නම් චිත්‍රපටයක්ම ඕනේ නැහැනේ. එක පොතකින් වුණත් කරන්න පුළුවන්.

ඒ වගේම තමයි නළු නිළියන් හැසිරවීම. කිසිම නළු නිලියෙක්ගේ අපූර්වත්වයක් නැහැ. අඩුම තරමින් ජැක්සන් ඇන්තනීවත් සුපුරුදු රංගනයට එළඹ නැහැ. මෙවන් චිත්‍රපටයකට ගැලපෙන නළු නිළියන්ගේ හිඟකම අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයාගේ වරදක්මත් නෙවෙයි. හැකියාවන් තිබුණ අය එක්කෝ වයසට ගිහින්. නැත්නම් මිය ගිහින්. ඉතිරිවෙලා ඉන්නේ ටෙලිනාට්‍යවලින් දිනපතා දකින කිසිම ප්‍රතිභාවක් නැති පියරු බබ්බු ටික විතරයි. ගැමුණු වගේ ප්‍රතාපවත් චරිතයකට පණ දෙන්න උද්ධික ප්‍රේමරත්නට වඩා පෞරුෂයක් තියෙන නළුවෙක් හොයාගන්න නැති එක ඛේදනීය තත්ත්වයක්. පළපුරුදු නළු නිළියන් වන ශ්‍රියන්ත මෙන්ඩිස්, යශෝධා විමලධර්ම, කුසුම් රේණු වැන්නන්ගෙනුත් චිත්‍රපටයට සාධාරණයක් ඉෂ්ට වෙලා නැති බවයි පෙනී යන්නේ. තත්ත්වය එහෙමනම් ආධුනික නළු නිළියන් ගැන කවර කතාද?

චිත්‍රපටයේ විරාමය පසුවීත් ටිකක් දුර යනතෙක් ආසනයෙන් නැගිට යන්නම සිතුනත් බිරිඳගේත්, දරුවාගේත් සතුටට බාධා නොකිරීමට බැරි නිසාම ඉතා අපහසුවෙන් සිනමා ශාලාවේ රැඳී සිටින්න වුණා. තනියම ආවානම් අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම නැගිට යනවා. ඒ තරම්ම චිත්‍රපටය සමස්තයක් ලෙස දුර්වලයි.

එක හොඳකට තියෙන්නේ සටන් ජවනිකා ටික ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සිනමාවේ මට්ටමෙන් ගත් කල තරමක් අගය කළ හැකියි. සටන් ජවනිකා කුස පබා, සිරි පැරකුම් වැනි චිත්‍රපට වලට වඩා ඉදිරියෙන් තිබුණා. එත් ටිකක් විතර ට්‍රෝයි චිත්‍රපටය අනුගමනය හෝ කොපි කළ බවක් සටන් ජවනිකා වල කැමරා කෝණ වලින් පෙනුණා. ඒක ලොකු වැරද්දකුත් නෙවෙයි. දුටුගැමුණු එළාර සටන මීට වඩා උද්වේගකරවත්, දීර්ඝවත් තිබිය යුතුව තිබුණා. එය කලින්ම නිම කිරීම ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ට කරන ලද අසාධාරණයක් වගේම එළාර රජුටත් කළ අපහාසයක්.

ජයන්ත චන්ද්‍රසිරි නම් මේ චිත්‍රපටය ගැන මාධ්‍ය සමග කතා කරන්නේ බොහොම උජාරුවෙන්. ඔහුගේත් සුනිල් ආරියරත්නගේත්, සෝමරත්න දිසානායකගෙත් අධ්‍යක්ෂණ හැකියාවන්වල වැඩි වෙනසක් මේ චිත්‍රපටය තුළින් මමනම් දකින්නේ නැහැ. ජයන්ත වැනි අපිට සිටින සුළු දක්ෂ අධ්‍යක්ෂවරුණුත් මේ විදියට බොළඳ නිර්මාණ කරනවානම් සිංහල සිනමාව ගැන වැඩි බලාපොරොත්තු තියා නොගත්තාට කමක් නැහැ.

සැමීගේ කතාව

samige_kathawa2

ප්‍රියංකර විතානාච්චිගේ සැමීගේ කතාව චිත්‍රපටය නැරඹුවෙමි. කපිතාන් එල්මෝ ජයවර්ධන විසින් රචිත Sam’s Story නම් ග්‍රේෂන් සම්මානලාභී නවකතාව ඇසුරෙන් නිර්මාණය කළ සැමීගේ කතාව චිත්‍රපටය මෙරට සිනමා ලෝලීන්ට දකින්නට ලැබෙන්නේ නිෂ්පාදනයෙන් බොහෝ කලකට පසුය. මා අසා ඇති පරිදි චිත්‍රපටය රූගත කොට දෙබස් කැවීම සහ අනෙකුත් කටයුතු කිරීමටද සෑහෙන කාලයක් බලාසිටීමට අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයාට සිදුවිණ. චිත්‍රපටය ගැන අදහස් දැක්වීම කළ යුත්තේ මේ සන්දර්භය තුළ සිටගෙනය.

මා මුලින්ම ආකර්ෂණය වූ ලක්ෂණය නම් දුක්බර කතාවක් වුවත්, අලංකාර ග්‍රාමීය පරිසරයක චිත්‍රපටය රූගත කොට තිබීමය. සාමාන්‍යයෙන් මෙවැනි තේමාවක් ගත් චිත්‍රපට පෙන්වන්නේ සොටු පෙරාගත්, කුණුකෙල පෙරාගත්, සති ගණනකින් නොනා සිටින චරිත යොදාගෙන දැඩි අඳුරු රූපරාමු හරහාය. එහෙත් අප දන්නා ග්‍රාමීය පරිසරය මීට වෙනස්ය. ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ගැමියා අවම පහසුකම් යටතේ වුවත් ගඟේ, වැවේ බැස නා, ගේ දොරද හැකිතරම් පිරිසුදුව තබාගන්නා අයෙකි. වාසනාවට අධ්‍යක්ක්ෂවරයාට මේ ගැන ඉවක් තිබී ඇත. එහෙත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ගැමි ජීවිතය ගැන චිත්‍රපට, ටෙලිනාට්‍ය සාදන්නන් බොහෝ දෙනෙකුට මේ ඉව නැත. ඔවුන් පෙන්නන්නේ ගැමියා අපිරිසුදු ගෙවල්වල සිටින පිළිකුල් සහගත සත්වයකු ලෙසය.

samige_kathawa

ප්‍රියංකර චිත්‍රපටය පුරාම පාහේ පැහැදිලි, දීප්තිමත් දර්ශන අප වෙත ගෙන එයි. ප්‍රියජනක නොවන කතාවක් වුවද ප්‍රියජනක පරිසරයක රූගත කොට ඇත. ගමේ, මාකලන්ද නම් ව්‍යාපාරිකයාගේ නිවසේ මෙන්ම ගඟේ දර්ශනද සුන්දරය. නමුත් චිත්‍රපටය නිෂ්පාදනයේදී බොහෝ කල් ගතවීම නිසාදෝ මේ සුන්දරත්වය වර්තමාන සිනමා රසිකයාට ඒ අයුරින්ම නොපෙනේ. දර්ශන තරමක් අව පැහැ ගැන්වී ඇත.

ප්‍රධාන චරිතය රඟපාන ජගත් චමිල ඉතාමත් සාර්ථක ලෙස තම චරිතය තුළට සමවැදී ඇත. ඔහුගේ කතාව, ගමන් විලාසය, සිනාව, දෑසින් හැඟුම් පළකරන ආකාරය වැනි දේවල් දකිනවිට මෙය රඟපෑමක් නොව සැබෑවක් මෙන් පෙනේ. ජගත් වැනි කඩවසම් නළුවෙක් මෙතරම් වෙනසකට භාජනය කළ අංග රචනා ශිල්පියාට විශේෂ ගෞරවයක් දිය යුතුමය. සැමීගේ බොහෝ ක්‍රියාවන්ට සාමාන්‍ය නරඹන්නන්ට සිනා යනමුත් හැඟීම් බර අයකුට ඔහු ගැන ඇතිවන්නේ අනුකම්පාවකි. එය දෑසට කඳුළක් එක් කරන අවස්ථාවන්ද එමටය. විශේෂයෙන්ම සැමීගේ යහළුවාට, මලණුවන්ට සහ මවට ඔහුගේ ඇති ආදරය අසීමිතය. ඔහු මාකලන්දට සහ ඔහුගේ පවුලේ අයටද පුද කරන්නේ එම ආදරයමය. එහි කිසිදු වෙනසක් ඔහු තුළ නැත. එහෙත් තමාගේ ආදරණීය මලණුවන් මරා දැමුවේ දෙමළ ත්‍රස්තවාදීන් නිසා ඔහු දෙමළ අයට නොකැමැතිය. එහෙත් ගෞරි කෙරෙහි ඔහුට ඇත්තේ ජාති භේද වලින් ඔබ්බට ගිය ආදරයකි.

ජගත් චමිල මම මීට පෙර දැක ඇත්තේ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය වලින් පමණි. අවාසනාවට ඔහුගේ එකම වේදිකා නාට්‍යක්වත් නරඹන්නට මට නොහැකි විය. ටෙලිනාට්‍යවල මම ඔහුගෙන් එතරම් ප්‍රතිභාවක් නොදැක්කෙමි. ඊට හේතුව ඔහුට හොඳ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය නොලැබීම විය හැක. එහෙත් සැමීගේ කථාවේ ඔහුගේ රඟපෑම ප්‍රතිභාපූර්ණය. එයට බොහෝ සෙයින් හේතු වී ඇත්තේ අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයා බව හැඟෙන්නේ මා මීට පෙර ඔහුගෙන් මෙවන් රඟපෑමක් නොදුටු නිසාදැයි සිතේ. ජගත්ද, ප්‍රියංකරට අවශ්‍ය සියල්ලම නිර්ලෝභීව දී ඇති බව පෙනේ. ජගත්ගේ රඟපෑම මට සිහිකළේ මා මීට බොහෝ කලකට පෙර නැරඹු Barry Levinson ගේ Rain Man චිත්‍රපටයේ Dustin Hoffman ගේ චරිතයයි.

samige_kathawa3

මාකලන්ද වැනි ඉතා හොඳ චරිතයක් කතාව අවසානයේදී මරා දැමීමෙන් පෙනෙන්නේ එවකට තිබූ දැඩි යුදකාමී තත්වයන් යටතේ බෝසත් චරිතයන්ට වුවද රුදුරු මරණය බලාපොරොත්තු නොවූ මොහොතකදී පැමිණීමට තිබූ හැකියාවයි. ඉතා පරිත්‍යාගශීලී, ගුණ ගරුක ව්‍යාපාරිකයකු වූ මාකලන්දගේ චරිතය පුරාම පෙනෙන්නේ ඔහු තුළ පවතින දැඩි කරුණාවමය. එහෙත් එවන් චරිතවලට පවා යුද්ධයෙන් ගැලවීමක් නොතිබුණි.

කතාව අවසානයට සිදුවන මාකලන්දගේ ඝාතනයත් සමගම සෙල්වා තුළ තිබූ එල්. ටී. ටී. ඊ. හිතවාදී බව වෙනස් වෙන නමුදු මෙම විපර්යාසය මීට වඩා සංවේදී ආකාරයකට ඉදිරිපත් කළ හැකිව තිබූ බව මගේ පෞද්ගලික මතයයි. මෙය චිත්‍රපටයේ උච්චතම අවස්ථාවයි. මෙය ප්‍රබල ලෙස පාවිච්චි කළ යුතුව තිබුණි. මෙම අවස්ථාව කුමක් හෝ හේතුවක් නිසා පපුවට වදින බව අඩුවක් දැනේ. සමහර ඒ මට පමණක් විය හැකිය.

සමස්තයක් ලෙස ගත් කළ චිත්‍රපටයේ සාධනීය ලක්ෂණ බොහොමයක් තිබේ. සාපේක්ෂව අඩු අයවැයකින් නිමවූ චිත්‍රපටයකින් බලාපොරොත්තු විය නොහැකි ධනාත්මක ලක්ෂණ චිත්‍රපටය පුරාවටම විහිදෙයි. ප්‍රියංකරගේ පළමු සිනමා නිර්මාණයම මෙසේ නම් අපට ඔහුගේ ඊළඟ නිර්මාණයන් ගැන තවත් බලාපොරොත්තු තැබිය හැකිය.

samige_kathawa-profile

චිත්‍රපටය, එය පාදක කරගත් නවකතාවෙන් මොනතරම් දුරකට අපගමනය වූයේදැයි මට කිව නොහැක්කේ මම නවකතාව කියවා නැති නිසාය. සමහර අධ්‍යක්ෂවරුන් මුල් කෘතියට හානි වේ යයි බියෙන් පොත තුළටම හිරවී සිනමා පටය නිර්මාණය කරනු දක්නට ලැබේ. එහෙත් සිනමා කෘතියක් යනු වෙනත් මාධ්‍යයකි. මුල් පොතෙන් වෙනස් වුවත් මුල් තේමාව රැකගෙන චිත්‍රපටය වඩාත් නිර්මාණශීලී ලෙස නිර්මාණය කිරීමට එය බාධාවක් කර ගත යුතු නොවේ. බටහිර චිත්‍රපට මෙය අපූරුවට අනුගමනය කරයි.

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The Secret

The Secret DVD Cover

The Secret DVD Cover

The Secret is a 2006 documentary film by Rhonda Byrne. It consists of a series of interviews that tell us by continuous self-suggestions to ourselves, we can attract the things we need. Be it money, fame, love, etc., we ourselves can gain them by thinking positively. The film was followed by a book with the same name.

The film explains us the Law of Attraction. The universe has resources in abundance. It has enough for everybody. It doesn’t run out of resources. It is us who have the power to reach for them. If we strive for the things we need in the right way, they will come to us.

The film tells that most of the prominent people already know the concepts behind The Secret and the Law of Attraction but they don’t divulge them to the others. They fear that if everybody comes to know about them, they will have a stiff competition from others.

The people shown in the interviews are not that famous. There are quantum physicists, psychologists, metaphysicists, coaches, theologists, philosophers, etc. in the interviews. All of them tell us how their lives were changed after learning about the Law of Attraction.

I was given a copy of The Secret DVD by Nuwan Samaranayake, a Sri Lankan software engineer working in the United States. I did not watch it as soon as I got it. But when I faced a lot of challenges both personally and professionally I thought of watching the DVD.

The film helped me a lot to reorganize myself. It gave me hopes when there was nothing else to encourage me. I could focus on my future after watching it. Though there are a lot of criticisms about the film on the Internet, the film has helped a lot of people to change their thinking patterns.

When everything collapses around you, you need something to hang on. Some people seek help from religions. Some go for mystical powers. Some take refuge at superstitious beliefs. But The Secret helps you to look at things around you scientifically.

If you want to become rich you should start thinking like a rich person. You should behave like a rich person. You should eliminate the thoughts of poverty. Once you start thinking positively, the ways and means to become rich will appear automatically.

There are people who work hard still don’t succeed in life. There are some people who don’t work hard still become successful. The difference is with the thinking patterns. Your hard work will go in vain if you don’t think the right way. You should watch The Secret to change your thinking patterns for the better.

I recommend you to watch the film. Money spent on the film is an investment. It can help you immensely. If possible, try the book as well. You won’t regret the investment.

Gandhi

Gandhi Poster

Gandhi Poster

Gandhi is a 1982 epic biographical film which dramatizes the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi was the leader of India’s non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the British Empire’s rule of the country during the 20th century. It stars Ben Kingsley in the title role.

The film starts with Gandhi’s assassination and subsequent funeral. Then we are taken to a scene where Gandhi is thrown out of a train in South Africa for traveling in a whites-only compartment. The film ends with the assassination and funeral of Gandhi.

It is in South Africa Gandhi starts a non-violent protest campaign for the rights of all Indians in South Africa. In the midst of numerous arrests and international attention that is despised by the white authorities, the South African government finally gives in by recognizing some rights for Indians.

After the victory in South Africa, the patriots in India invite Gandhi to fight for India’s independence. Gandhi agrees but is prepared to use only nonviolence and non-cooperation in his campaign against the British as he does not like to see a bloodbath during the struggle.

Gandhi starts small but with time, is able to influence millions of countrymen throughout India to fight against the British. Gandhi is arrested several times but the white leaders cannot stop the tide against them. Hundreds of Indians are massacred in Jallianwala Bagh and this shocks Gandhi.

Even the British activists and citizens sympathize with Gandhi and Indians and the constant pressure they put on their own government forces the British to free India after the World War II. But Ali Jinnah, a Muslim leader, sides with the British and demands for a separate state for the Muslims in India. The British who love to use divide and rule policy in their colonies readily agree to grant Jinnah’s wish.

Gandhi tries his best to unite Hindus and Muslims even by offering Jinnah the post of the Prime Minister of India to stop country being divided. But Nehru opposes this idea. Finally Pakistan is born.

The creation of Pakistan at midnight results in a large number of Muslims and Hindus being killed and injured. Gandhi is horrified with that and starts a hunger strike till the violence stops. Finally people heed and Gandhi calls off strike.

The birth of Pakistan creates enemies for Gandhi within the Hindu community itself. A religious fanatic Nathuram Godse shoots Gandhi point blank and kills him.

What we can learn from Gandhi, the film is that to stick to your goal despite heavy setbacks and holding onto your fair policies. Gandhi never abandoned his nonviolence policy at a time which he could set the millions of Indians against the white rulers and forced them to quit India fearing unprecedented violence. Instead he could wait till the time was ripe for the Independence.

But at the end we are convinced that even a saintly figure like Gandhi also had to end up his life with a bullet. The father of nonviolence had to die as a result of violence. This is the way of the word. But this shouldn’t discourage anyone from practicing and patronizing nonviolence. We can remember how Nelson Mandela won his cause through nonviolence in the recent past.

Swades

Swades Poster

Swades Poster

Swades is a 2004 Indian film written, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Gayatri Joshi in her debut film.

Mohan Bhargava is a Non-Resident Indian Project Manager working for NASA. He had studied in University of Pennsylvania. After finishing the phase 1 of a special satellite project he decides to get a two week’s holiday and return to India in search of his childhood nanny, an adorable Kaveri Amma whom he lost touch with for years.

Once Mohan reaches Charanpur, the village where Kaveri Amma lives, he immediately falls in love with Geeta, a schoolteacher whom he met at a friend’s bookshop earlier. Geeta lives with Kaveri Amma. Mohan comes to know that Geeta was his childhood friend whom he used to play with. So he starts helping her school and the village. He becomes a popular figure in the village. Everybody respects him but the village elders don’t like him mingling with low caste people.

Mohan learns the harsh realities of Indian village life. He sees how poverty, caste discrimination, child marriage, illiteracy, child labor, and disregard for education take the village backward. He decides to help the villagers as much as he can.

Having understood the difficulties the village faces without electricity, Mohan embarks on a task to provide electricity to the village using a stream that flows from a mountain. He finds 100 men and builds a tank to collect water from the stream. Then he buys the equipment needed for a hydro-electric power plant.

He is successful in his endeavor and is able to provide the whole village electricity. This results in Geeta also falling in love with Mohan as she realizes the real value of Mohan. But she refuses to go to America with him.

Mohan goes to America and completes the phase two of the satellite project and quits his prestigious job as a Project Manager at NASA. He returns to Charanpur and decides to work for the betterment of the village with Geeta.

The story tells us how the educated should sacrifice for the betterment of local people. A lot of people in the South Asian region leave their own countries and settle down in the West as they get better pay and modern facilities and forget their motherlands.

The film encourages those expatriates to return to motherlands and render their valuable service to the local people. This is no easy task. They have to sacrifice a lot.

I know one young teacher called Aruna Chaminda from the Down South of Sri Lanka who built a hydro-electrical water plant in a rural village and provided electricity to the neighborhood. But his school authorities did not like him getting attention and transferred him to a faraway village to stop him helping the community. This is what you get for your commitment.

But we should not get disheartened. We should do what we can do for the betterment of our motherlands. I can be happy that I did a lot to my village and as a result a lot of youth and children were benefited.

Patch Adams

Patch Adams Poster

Patch Adams Poster

Patch Adams is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film. The film is directed by Tom Shadyac. It is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams and the book Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter by Adams and Maureen Mylander.

Having attempted to commit suicide several times, Patch Adams admits himself into a mental health institution. In the institute he learns that the doctors’ care is not sufficient to cure the patients but the way he interacts with the other patients with some funny ways help them more.

Adams decides to become a doctor and enrolls himself at Virginia Medical University. While there he finds that the doctors’ insensitive approaches to cure patients don’t work properly and introduces new but unorthodox ways. This results a clash between him and the medical school’s head Dean Walcott.

Adams falls in love with a pretty and young medical student called Carin Fisher and both start a free medical facility in a land given by a patient of Adams. Here they start the future Gesundheit! Institute. Some of their friends also help their endeavor.

Carin, Adams’ girlfriend gets killed by a mentally disturbed person and this devastates Adam’s spirits. He almost leaves the medical school and his own free clinic. But after seeing a butterfly – who he thinks is an incarnation of Carin – Adams decides to continue his studies and clinic.

Walcott makes life difficult for Adams and decides to expel him from the school for running an unauthorized medical clinic. But after an appeal Adams makes, he gets the higher officials’ nod to continue his education and clinic.

Adams graduates and continues his clinic and a lot of medical professionals start helping him. As mentioned above, the film is based on a true story. Adams’s hospital is still continuing and helps thousands of patients who cannot afford medical facilities in other hospitals.

The message behind the movie is that once you start something good, you will face a lot of challenges from all quarters but you should not give up. You should be strong enough to face the obstacles and still stick to what you are doing. Someday you will win. It will be a hard journey and you will have to sacrifice a lot. But that is part and parcel of the game.

What is disheartening is that the film producers have got a profit of few millions from the film but not a dollar has been donated to Adam’s noble effort. That is the way of the world. Adams is not discouraged. Up to this day he is canvassing to raise funds to complete his Gesundheit! Institute. That should be the spirit. There will be a lot of people to pull you down when you are doing something good but you don’t have to give up or give in. You will win the battle someday. It is your duty to hang on to your dream till that fateful day comes.

3 Idiots

3 Idiots Poster

3 Idiots Poster

I had heard a lot about the movie 3 Idiots and had the pleasure of watching the DVD of the movie a couple of days ago. Aamir Khan is an actor who is very fastidious about his selection of roles so this movie couldn’t go bad.

Right from the beginning of the movie, it hints that this movie is not going to be the typical Bollywood movie type. You are taken to a totally new world of an inside of an Indian engineering college. The life starts at the campus for the new students with ragging as usual. Then arrives Rancho who challenges everyone and does a big difference in the campus.

Throughout the movie you are constantly told that the existing education system that is mainly based on cramming books is not the answer to realities in life. You are reminded that the things should be taken out of the lecture room to the real world for better learning experiences. Rancho does exactly that.

But the college’s dean, nicknamed ViruS is very rigid and wants the age-old traditions to continue. He is very annoyed with Rancho and tries his best to separate Rancho’s two friends from him so that Rancho would be isolated. But that simply doesn’t work.
After some dramatic incidents outside the campus and inside of it Rancho finds himself in love with dean’s daughter Pia. This is a nightmare to the dean and he tries every attempt to stop the two uniting. But Pia is attracted more to Rancho as she admires his practical approaches to life.

Traditional bookworm, nicknamed as the Silencer tries to win the staff by always being bookish but he is humiliated in front of a big crowd in the campus as a result of Rancho’s mischievous antics.

After the graduation the students go on different directions and they meet once again after 10 years to see that all of them have prospered in life. The Silencer mocks at Rancho saying that the latter is just a schoolteacher whereas he, himself is a Vice President of an American company. But he later learns that it was Rancho who he has been looking for to sign a deal for the company’s future project. Everyone finds that Rancho had been living under a different name and is a big scientist with a lot of patents under his name.

Finally Silencer accepts defeat and sign Rancho as a business partner for his company.

The story tells us the drawbacks in the education system in India and the need of changing that to suit to the demands of the changing world.

Buddham Saranam Gachhami Singer No more… Manna Dey Ends His Journey

Manna Dey

Manna Dey

We are very familiar with Mohideen Baig’s version of ‘Buddham Saranam Gachhami’ song since our childhoods. This is the song most played during Wesak. This is the song played with loud speakers whenever a religious event or drama showing (Jahuta) was held in the village temple. We can remember how excited we were when we heard the van with the loudspeaker came and how we ran after the van to hear the last sound of the song. To be frank, Mohideen Baig’s Sinhala version was more powerful than its original Hindi version as Baig Master had a more commanding voice. I heard once Baig’s son saying on TV that the original singer, Manna Dey himself had told Baig’s version was better. I am not too sure whether this claim is true though.

The sad news is that Manna Dey, the original singer of Buddham Saranam Gachhami (Angulimaal -1960) has passed away last night at the age of 94 at a Bengaluru hospital after a long illness.

However, I started liking Manna Dey after listening to Yeh Dosti song from the film Sholay. I immediately recognized Kishore Kumar’s voice in the song when I first listened to it but didn’t have a clue who the other singer was. But I later learnt over radio that it was Manna Dey. I started liking him since then.
Dey was one of Indian cinema’s finest golden voices. It is reported that Dey ensured that old songs to be played beside his bedside with the help of his daughter even at the last few days of his life.
Dey was born as Prabodh Chandra Dey on 1 May, 1919, and Manna Dey was only his nickname which became his stage name of late. He sang in a number of languages– Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayali, Kannada, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Magadh, Punjabi, Maithilee, Konkani, Sindhi and Chhattisgarhi. Dey’s career as a playback singer started with the movie Tamanna in 1943. His uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey composed the music and he paired up with the well-known Suraiya to sing this wonderful duet. The entire nation madly loved this song and Dey became a household name within few days. Dey shared the limelight with some legends like Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar. Manna Dey teamed up with great singers like Bhimsen Joshi and belted out a legendary song known as Ketaki Gulab Juhi. With Kishore Kumar he sang a completely different genre of songs like Yeh Dosti (Sholay) and Ek Chatur Naar (Padosan) that became very popular. In the Bengali film industry, he worked with noted musicians like the legendary Hemant Kumar. He established himself in mainstream Bengali music after his legendary duet song with Lata Mangeshkar known as Ke Prothom Kachhe Esechi.

Mohammed Rafi in fact once told that though people listen to his songs, he himself enjoys only Manna Dey’s songs.

Dey sang over 4,000 songs. He has sung with singers of every generation in Indian films from 1940-2005. He has worked with more than 102 music directors in Hindi film industry from working with Krishna Chandra Dey in Tamanna in 1942 to music composer Shamir Tandon in 2006. Manna Dey infused the melody of classical music in the frame of pop music. Dey showed his singing talent in early days of school when he used to beat tables and sing to entertain his classmates. He then started to receive proper training in music from his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey and also from Ustad Dabir Khan. In 1942, Dey started working as an assistant music director under his uncle and then under S. D. Burman. After assisting many music directors, he eventually started to work independently. Dey had been honoured with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. Dey may have left us, but he will continue to live with his music. He is survived by his daughters Shuroma and Sumita. His wife, Sulochana, died of cancer last year.

Manna Dey toured Sri Lanka once. In addition to his songs, he sang Dayarathna Ranathunga’s ‘Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi’ on stage. This video is available with Rupavahini.

Information about Manna Dey was taken from www.firstpost.com with only minor changes to the original text.

 

 

Lolita (1997)

Lolita (1997) poster

Lolita (1997) poster

I watched Lolita 1997 version after watching Stanley Kubrick’s black and white version of the film which was released in 1962. New version is sexier than the old version and it is in color. Lolita is younger, sexier, naughtier and more rebellious in this version. This film is more faithful to the novel than its earlier film version as there was more freedom in 1990s than in the 60s to film this controversial story.

Lolita is a 1997 French-American film directed by Adrian Lyne. It is the second film of Vladimir Nabokov‘s novel of the same name and stars Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert and Dominique Swain as Dolores “Lolita” Haze, with supporting roles by Melanie Griffith as Charlotte Haze, and Frank Langella as Clare Quilty.

In 1947, Humbert Humbert (Jeremy Irons), a European professor of French literature, a widower, arrives in the United States with the hope of taking a teaching position at Beardsley College. Before the job he has his summer vacation and he intends to find accommodation and in his search for renting a room he meets a dejected widow Charlotte Haze (Melanie Griffith.) He accidentally sees her adolescent daughter Dolores (Dominique Swain,) also called “Lo.” Obsessed from boyhood with girls of this age (whom he calls “nymphets,”) partly because of a boyhood sexual experience and subsequent tragic loss of his sweetheart, Humbert is immediately attracted to Lo and decides to take the room.

A Scene from Lolita (1997)

A Scene from Lolita (1997)

Later, as it increases of his chances of gaining access to Lo, Humbert agrees to marry Charlotte on her request. But Charlotte soon discovers that he is more attracted to her daughter than to her after reading his diary entries admiring Lolita and making Charlotte a mockery. She is furious and shouts at Humbert and runs to post some letters threatening him that he will not see that “brat” again. Unfortunately (or fortunately for Humbert rather) she meets with a car accident and dies on the spot.

Her death frees Humbert to pursue a sexual and emotional relationship with Lo, whom he nicknames “Lolita“. Humbert takes advantage of Lolita and starts to have sexual pleasures with her. He takes her from one motel to another while traveling across the United States. He is constantly interrupted by a strange character called Clare Quilty in different disguises. In fact Quilty happens to be another man who takes sexual advantages of young Lolita and from there onwards the confrontation with Humbert and Qulity comes to the scene.

Dominique Swain as Lolita is outstanding and I don’t think the director could have found anyone better. She is a coltish young thing and ideal for the film. Jeremy Irons also plays an excellent role as Humbert Humbert. My only worry is that Frank Langella is too old to attract a young girl like Lolita and the role could have been played by someone younger and better. Melanie Griffith is also hopeless as Charlotte Haze and she messes up the whole first few scenes by her meaningless acting.

Lolita (1962)

Lolita 1962 Poster

Lolita 1962 Poster

There are two movies based on the novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. I prefer the Stanley Kubrick version of Lolita which came in black & white in 1962. Not that I loathe the Adrian Lyne’s version of Lolita which came in 1997 but I just prefer the older version as it is more artistic.

Lolita is a story that centers on a middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with an underage teenage girl. The film stars James Mason as Humbert Humbert, Sue Lyon as Dolores Haze (Lolita), and Shelley Winters as Charlotte Haze, with Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty.

Director Kubrick had to tone down what was in the book due to film restrictions of the 60’s by leaving much to the audience’s imagination. Hence the story deviates from the novel a little. Sue Lyon who played Lolita was just 14 at the time of filming. Yet she does an amazing display of her abilities in the film. You can’t imagine that she is a 14-year-old girl with the way she plays.

The movie is set in 1950’s. It starts with a confrontation of two men: Clare Quilty, the drunken playwright and Humbert Humbert, the British professor of French literature. In the opening scene Humbert shoots Quilty dead, deviating from the sequences of the novel. Then the film flashes back to events four years earlier. Humbert arrives in Ramsdale, New Hampshire, with the hope of spending the summer before his professorship begins at Beardsley College, Ohio. He searches for a room to rent in the town, and Charlotte Haze, a blowsy, sexually frustrated widow, invites him to stay at her house. He declines until seeing her daughter, Dolores, affectionately called “Lolita”. Lolita is a soda-pop drinking, gum-snapping, overtly flirtatious teenager, with whom Humbert falls in love instantly. As Humbert doesn’t want to be away from Lolita, he agrees to rent the room.

A Scene from Lolita

A Scene from Lolita

Soon Humbert becomes almost a family member of the house and he is taken to films and parties by Charlotte. At such a party he sees Quilty, a popular playwright whom Charlotte chats with an unethical manner in front of his partner, another young lady. Quilty asks after Lolita from the mother.

He enjoys every move by Lolita and becomes her secret admirer. But Charlotte wants his full attention to him and separates him from Lolita by sending Lolita to an all-girl sleepaway camp for the summer. Charlotte leaves a letter addressed to Humbert with the maid and according to the letter, she loves Humbert and Humbert should vacate the house if he doesn’t love her and if he stays, that is a message that he is in love with her too. Being deeply in love with little Lolita, Humbert intends to marry Charlotte so that he can see Lolita every day. Humbert marries Charlotte upon her return.

Meanwhile Humbert has started writing a diary with calling Lolita a nymphet, a word coined by himself. He writes lengthy admirations of Lolita in the diary which Charlotte finds out one day. Charlotte reads Humbert’s diary entries detailing his passion for Lolita and characterizing her as “the Haze woman, the cow, the obnoxious mama, the brainless baba“. She has a hysterical outburst, runs outside, and is hit by a car and dies.

A Scene from Lolita

A Scene from Lolita

After the funeral, Humbert drives to Camp Climax to pick up Lolita who still doesn’t know her mother is dead. Humbert tells Lolita her mother is sick and takes her to a hotel to stay for the night. Since there is a big police convention in the hotel there are no two rooms available for Humbert and Lolita so they happen to share the room. One of the guests, a pushy, abrasive stranger, insinuates himself upon Humbert and keeps steering the conversation to his “beautiful little daughter,” who is asleep upstairs. He also implies that he is a police officer. This startles Humbert. The stranger doesn’t show his face and talks from the darkness. Humbert escapes the stranger and when he goes to the room he finds Lolita is fast asleep. Humbert tries to sleep beside her which Lolita refuses in sleep. He sleeps on a cot which breaks down at night.

In the morning Humbert and Lolita enters into a sexual relationship and he finds that the girl is not even a virgin. Humbert reveals her mother is dead and she cries initially and then the two start an odyssey across the United States by having sex wherever they stay.

Now you don’t want me to tell the rest of the story. Find the 1962 version of Lolita. It is as beautiful as a poem though it is centered on a controversial topic. No explicit sex scenes in the movie and yet it is beautifully crafted. Sue Lyon’s acting is breathtaking. You cannot forget how masterfully Sellers play Clare Quilty. My favorite in the movie is Quilty though he is the villain in the film.