Sunday, April 3, 2016

Movie : Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka ( With You, Without You / Piragu )

கேளிக்கையும், நகைச்சுவையும், பொருளற்ற வன்முறையும் மட்டுமே, உணர்ச்சி பொங்க கொந்தளிப்பது மட்டுமே சினிமா அல்ல என்பதை, இந்த மாதிரியான படங்களை பார்த்தாவது தமிழ் திரைப்பட கலைஞர்கள் உணர வேண்டும். தமிழ் மக்களின் வலியை கூட வேறு மொழி பேசும் ஒரு கலைஞனால்தான் பதிவு செய்ய முடிகிறது. - Muruganandam Puvi
Director Prasanna Vithanage talks with KCTS 9 producer Laila Kazmi about Sri Lankan cinema.
Reconciliation is one of the underlying themes of Vithanage’s most recent and beautifully composed feature film, With You, Without You, which has screened at film festivals around the world.
“I felt that [post-war] reconciliation was not happening fast enough and without it we could not survive [as a country],” says Vithanage. With You, Without You tells the story of a Tamil woman and a Singhalese man. Set in a small town right after the end of the civil war, it is a love story burdened by the physical and emotional devastation of war.
The other main theme of the film is masculinity. “I was approached by Rahul Roy, a documentary filmmaker from India, and he asked me to do a film on masculinity,” says Vithanage. He based his story on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s short story A Gentle Creature, which Vithanage feels offers a “vivid picture of the effect of the masculinity and how, because of the masculinity, we could lose the most important things in life: the love, and life itself.”
Shyam Fernando plays Sarathsiri in 'With You, Without You.' Photo courtesy of Prasanna Vithanage.
One of the characteristics of Vithanage's films is the color choices, which, along with the evocative compositions, play as important a role in his films as the characters themselves. In With You, Without You, characters appear as if they are moving inside a beautifully composed painting with vivid colors in nearly each frame.
Vithanage gives due credit to his collaborator, the accomplished cinematographer M.D. Mahindapala. “I pass the script to him and then [our] process begins of how to build the world of these characters and what is the color of that world.”
On Working With Actors
“I love actors and I love good acting,” says Vithanage. “Without them, as directors, we cannot bring [out] the humanity of the characters.”
For Vithanage, casting the right actor is essential to getting a good performance. “Then, I work with them a lot before shooting, finding out what is the innermost truth of [their] characters.”
On screen, these truths are revealed often with little dialogue, mostly through characters’ interactions and facial expressions. “In real life, we may say a lot of things but our faces, our eyes, will not lie, so the filmmakers job is to capture that,” says Vithanage.
Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka ( With You, Without You / Piragu )