Dutugamunu: a taboo topic?

10/27/09

Jayantha Chandrasiri has started a massive cinematic task. He is going to take King Dutugemunu’s character to Cinema. It’s going to be a challenge definitely. Apart from making the film, he is also facing the challenges of critiques already. I wonder this is the first time in the history in Sri Lanka; someone has encountered this kind of criticism even before starting the shooting!

I guess, there is a hidden agenda in this suppression. I don’t know whether this film will be a success or not, but trying to stop it even before doing seems very suspicious. I received a couple of e-mails that criticize the film so aggressively.
When Handagama’s film was banned by authorities, there were a lot of activists and Independent Media movements who talked and showed their disapproval. No one seems to be rescuing Jayantha. What is the difference in between two scenarios?

Some of the critiques say Jayantha is doing this for money and this is supporting extreme nationalism. Jayantha was making dramas/movies based on historical events for a long time. Actually, at that time, no one was much interested in history or such attempts. Now everybody knows that country itself is having new awareness in national ides and rethinking of our own ways of solving the problems. Under current context, a lot more people, media and groups have changed their colors to show their brand new patriotic faces. Now Jayantha has no rights to do what he has been doing?

This case tempts me to analyze the situation this way.. Jayantha has been quite successful in his movie making carrier and significantly he is the only one who didn’t run after international awards. People of Sri Lanka always loved him for what he did. There are some "too much internationalized" entities that always did their best to drag down the true national awareness in Sri Lanka throughout the history. They are not sacred of Handagama, Prasanna Withanage or Vimukthi because they are actually passively promoting their needs. Those people should be really scared that Jayantha would do a better job, otherwise they will not try to hammer him even before starting the initial work.

I have seen some other group who has been criticizing the film because they simply don’t agree with selection of actors. They simply say actor who has been selected for role of Dutugamunu is "not majestic looking" enough to represent the king. They blame Jayantha for doing Anti-national acts through the movie!!

If we summarize the facts, Jayantha is being beaten by both nationalists and anti-nationalists! In a country that “Per person independent movements” are so high.. no one is there to protect his right to do his art!

This harsh criticism has increased my inquisitiveness about the movie.

This movie can be a success or failure... but I really can’t understand the ethical base of hammering Jayantha based on speculations, even before examining the product.

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