Saturday, December 06, 2008


Went to see the movie Machan. Heard a lot of good things & few bad things about the film before seeing the movie. All seems to be accurate & slightly over blown. This is not a ground breaking master piece. But it’s a good movie. Which is a rare case in Sri Lanka. Like that cliché about London buses, the last two much hyped Sinhala films (Aba & Machan)which I went to watch were good. It is absolutely not the case always in here. Almost 90% of the commercial films are crap & 60% of the so called 5th Circuit films are incomprehensible to most viewers. These two films have effortlessly bridged the gap which exist in Sri Lanka between commercial cinema & artsy cinema.

Talking about the film, its loosely based on the infamous Sri Lanka handball teams vanishing trick in Germany. In the real incident the team mainly comprised of upper middle class Sri Lankans while in the film it is almost all are from very poor backgrounds. Story is well written & the acting is very good. It is helped by selecting very experienced & talented crew are actors for even the minor roles. Although many very nasty words regularly are used by the actors during the cause of the film, many evokes laughter & all seems quite genuine. This I mentioned is because these words are not used often in Sri Lankan cinema & on many instance cause the film to categorized a ‘ More Suitable for Adults’ film. Mahendra Perera’s word to German immigration officer specially comes to mind. 

On the bad things said about this film, where some accuse of depicting Sri Lanka in bad, negative light it must be said they are completely over blown. Yes, film only shows the dirt poor side of the Sri Lankan capital. But it does exist. Characters like Stanley & others live among us. Almost everyone of us know who has be duped by a bogus foreign employment scheme. We have friends who tries very hard to support their families, but see no let up of their hardships. Although I laughed at them when watching the film, it also made me think about the current financial gloom spreading around globe which is slowly but surely affecting Sri Lanka. When they celebrate the single point they scored at the handball tournament, I can’t help but be happy about them. Because they have achieved what they want. They have come to a European country, they are not going back & they manage to score a point in a game they had no clue against decent opponents.

I wonder where those brave, ingenious 23 guys are right now. I hope they are doing well & looking after their relatives back in Sri Lanka. If by any chance one of you guys read this.. well done brothers. It was very nicely done………

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