With You, Without You, Sinhalese-Tamil, International Film Movie review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * *

With You, Without You, Sinhalese-Tamil, International Film Movie rebiew, Johnson Thomas, Rating: *  *  *

With You, Without You, Sinhalese-Tamil, International Film Movie rebiew, Johnson Thomas, Rating: *  *  *

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International( Srilankan) film Review
Johnson Thomas

A conflicting experience

Film: With You, Without You(Oba Nathuwa, Oba Ekka)
Cast: Shyam Fernando, Anjali Patil
Director: Prasanna Vithanage

Rating: *  *  *        

Set in post war Lanka, this film tries to bring us close to two characters psychologically debilitated by conflict- A man and a woman from the two ends of the chasm creating thirty year old bloody civil war in Sri Lanka. This film is a post war epitaph to the many who found themselves on opposing sides of a war that was brutal and unrelenting in it’s dehumanizing spiral. Prasanna Vithanage, a much feted filmmaker from Sri Lanka, attempts to make that war the counter-point for this fatal romance between two individuals- a head strong young Tamil catholic girl Selvi(Anjali Patil) struggling to come to terms with the loss of her family and her people and a native Sinhala Buddhist pawn broker Sarathsiri(Shyam Fernando) who has his own issues to dope with. The two meet, fall in love and get married but happily-ever-after appears to be a figment of someone else’s imagination. A friend’s visit and the discovery of an inglorious past, destroys the growing love between the two and eventually leads to distrust and hatred. So far so good. The eventual outcome of that discovery is what sits uncomfortably for the viewer.

Whatever the filmmakers intentions, the narrative would have been better served if some compromise would have been evolved to tide over the relationship crisis and save the crumbling marriage. The eventual climax stands out like a sore thumb, executed as it is, with a clumsy, befuddling finality that leaves the viewer unaffected.

Vithanage in fact builds up momentum with a grace and serenity that is masterly. Aided beautifully by somber evocative camerawork, underwhelming background score, minimalistic dialogues and brilliantly underplayed visually expressive performances by both the principal actors. Anjali Patil in fact is a revelation here. She lives the role so beautifully as a Tamil catholic firl that if you were not aware of her real name , you would be fooled into thinking she is just that. This is definitely another award worthy performance by her! This film is worth a watch!



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