Friday, April 28, 2006
Aksharaya and Freedom of Expression
I am not a fan of Asoka Handagama.I have seen two of his stage dramas ,"Hena" and "Magatha".Both were propaganda pieces for JVP in late 80's ,if my memory serves me right .Then I have seen "Dunhinda Addara " tele-drama which basically was unwatchable but had to tolerate some episodes since there was only one TV at home.
After dramas and tele-dramas(!) Handagama decided to conquer cinema !I watched "Chanda Kinneri" at Regal cinema in a box suite ,making out with a bird the wholetime ,so I don't know what the hell went on.Partially, it was a personal protest against his mediocrity .On the other hand it was a necessity since I couldn't afford a hotel room at the time (The situation didn't go further than third base ).The film was hyped by most of the Sinhala film critics as the next best thing to sliced bread and pol sambol.
Then there was the case of "Me Mage Sandai".I happened to be in a particular US city when the international film festival of that city had two screenings of the film.I went to one screening with several friends .There were 8-9 people in the audiance ,out of which 6 were Sri Lankan.By this time Handagama has found the next issue after promoting JVP ,namely the ethnic conflict.I have no special sympathasies for Army or rogue Buddists monks but the film was simply unwatchable.All the super-partriots who shouted against it can sleep well since not many non - Sri Lankans saw the film.Also the people who saw it at the screening I was at , sarcastically laughed it off and left early.
Being true to himself by finding the most exploitable issue of the time,it was only matter of time that he came across "The Sri Lankan Homosexual".I haven't seen "Thani Thatuwen Piyabanna " but heard it was local "Boys Don't Cry" version.More power to him!
I brought up all the above to get to this point.I am not a fan of Asoka Handagama!period.He has released a new film called "Aksharaya".I 'm not sure whether I will watch it or not.I checked the website and trailers .It sounds OK.For chrissake let the bugger show his film to the Sri Lankan audiance!If there are any "questionable" material give it a rating .Let the people make up their own mind,eat kadala ,drink fanta ,makeout and write letters to the editor.