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 Post subject: Sri Lankan Tamil movie Manna worldwide hit
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:05 am 
Sri Lankan Tamil movie Manna worldwide hit


Arul Sathya
@ CDN / 28Feb2007

CINEMA: The Tamil movie Mann (earth), produced and directed by London based Sri Lankan Tamils and entirely filmed in Sri Lanka was screened in Colombo and Chennai, Tamil Nadu last December.

This movie, acclaimed by critics as a trend setter in the Sri Lankan Tamil movie scene, is the first local Tamil film to be produced after 13 years. The last locally produced Tamil movie Sharmilavin Idaya Ragam, based on a popular novel, ended up as a flop.

But Mann set records for the first time as it was released not only in Sri Lanka and India but also in countries such as England, Canada, Swiss, France, Germany, Singapore and South Africa. According to the production unit, the movie has done fairly well in those countries.

The film was produced by Raj Gajendra, a Jaffna born Tamil living in London and directed by Pudiyavan R, also living in London but originally from Vavuniya. The musical score was done by Vijay, a Jaffna Tamil living in Germany. The hero of the movie is also a student in London. This is the first time a Sri Lankan Tamil movie has been released in Chennai.

Mann ran for three weeks at Krishnaveni theatre. The cinema critics are of the opinion that the running of a Sri Lankan Tamil film for three weeks in of Chennai, the hub of multi million rupee giant film world, and third biggest in the world, can be interpreted as a great success and a mark of acceptance.

Chennai based film moguls such as K. Balachandar, Bharathirajah, Bhakyarajah, A.V.M. Saravanan and many journalists have expressed their appreciation and newspapers and journals also commented positively after watching the movie.

Mann is a movie revolving around a poor up country Tamil family badly affected by communal riots.

The family moves in and settles in Kanagarayan Kulam in Jaffna but the only school going daughter of the family has not been well received by the native Jaffna students who consider themselves as higher caste.

This motivates the idea that the new upcountry girl is interior as ‘Thottakkattu kutti’ (estate damsel) she is treated shabbily. But the hero, s student from a high caste landlord family, is constantly trying to get involved with her and finally succeeds.

He convinces her to have sex after developing a deep love affair with her and also promises to marry her. When the secret love affair becomes public, hell breaks loose on her and her poor family. The landlord chases the family away and as an immediate measure, sends the boy to London.

After 20 years, the boy, now a British citizen, returns to Kanagarayan Kulam to make a documentary on war torn Jaffna. He hires two lads as his helpers not knowing that one of the youth is his own son born to his childhood sweetheart.

The boy, now a member of a rebel group, waits for a chance to take revenge on his father.

Though the movie has its inevitable shortcomings in acting, camera movements and from the technical angle, the narration, dialogue, direction are excellent. The film, generally speaking, is very moving.

It is important to note that the group of Jaffna Tamils have made a movie criticising their own community’s social conduct and beliefs and also questioned the longstanding caste system.

This movie speaks of equality among Tamil communities, rejects caste and stands for the long neglected estate community. It also speaks for those upcountry families settled in and around Jaffna and Vanni districts.

It is sad to say that this internationally acclaimed movie was not appreciated by the Colombo Tamil audience. It could not run even 10 days at Cine city!

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