Long Live 'Ayu'
By Anton J. Fernando
Everything is now set for the second coming of Chathra Weeraman to the Sinhala cinema after his maiden cinematic masterpiece Aloko Udapadi. Chathra got off to a brilliant start in his journey in the silver screen as the historical epic revolutionised Sinhala cinema and was received well by the audience. Not failing to reach the benchmark Aloko Udapadi has placed, Chathra's second movie, Ayu is also ticking many boxes needed to be branded as 'important' - not just in terms of acting and the freshness of the story but in terms of marking other important milestones as well.
The movie marks the all-important 150th acting contribution of 60-year long illustrious acting career of the 'Queen of Sinhala Cinema' veteran actress Malini Fonseka. Ayu also marks the maiden movie production of General (retired) Daya Ratnayake who was the 20th Commander of Sri Lanka Army and the current Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Life is nothing but a collection of experiences one gather as it flows across time.
These experiences are sometimes sweet but at times tend to be bitter and harsh. However, what helps us understand the reality of life and better-prepare us for upcoming hard times of life are these bitter experiences. These bitter experiences are a challenge. Some playful souls try to evade these harsh realities by taking them too lightly or running away from them, putting their own lives in danger while doing so.
Some who get battered by these harsh experiences try to pursue the true meaning of life. Once they see the bigger lesson these experiences have taught them, the initial feeling of defeat vanishes and they begin to 'live' life. A life without a reason to live or an aim does not bring self satisfaction. This spiritual truth of life is intricately interconnected with the physicality of life which at times can act as a deterrent in one's pursuit of spirituality of life. The theme of Ayu revolves around two souls who encounter each other on their individual pursuits of spiritual truths of life, and their dispassionate love story.
The story written by the Attorney-at-Law Saman Weeraman was made into a movie script by the collaborative effort of Chathra and Shakthi Weerasinghe. Ayu which incorporates Dolby Atmos sound technology recently represented Sri Lanka in Asian Film Festival Barcelona 2020 which was held in Spain.
Sandra Mark, Jagath Manuwarna, Malini Fonseka, Samanali Fonseka, Ashan Dias, Kenara Withanage, Sampath jayaweera, Priyantha Sirikumara, Thumindu Dodantenna, Dasun Pathirana, Nalin Lusena, Udaya Abesundara and many other actors consist the stellar cast of the movie while Kalinga Deshapriya Bimal Dushmantha contribute in cinematography, and art direction and production planning respectively.
The movie is also contributed by Sman Elvitigala in editing, Milinda Thennakoon in music direction, Harsha Manjula and Harun Shaideen in makeup and hairdressing, Shashika Marasinghe in sound editing, Dinidu Jagoda in colour grading, Kumara Karavideniya in costume designing, Iresh karunarathne in production management, and Primal Ranasinghe and Shashika Ganegoda in linear management. Ayu is co-produced by Saman and Anuruddha Weeraman, and proudly presented by Weeraman Brothers.
(Translated by Sanuj Hathurusinghe)
(Pix courtesy Shehan Obeysekara)