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A journey of revelation, The Road for Elephant Pass

‘Alimankada’, (The Road for Elephant Pass), a compelling story based on Nihal de Silva’s Gratiaen prize winning novel under the same title is now being screened at the Regal Colombo, Lido Borella and other CEL circuit cinemas around the country.

Director Chandran Rutnam

The film, two hours of suspense depicts how two enemies in the two different camps fall into one line of humanity and love. It revolves around an army officer’s routine assignment to pick up a woman informant near Jaffna which turned in to a nightmare when the Tigers launched a massive attack on the peninsula and the camp at Elephant Pass. The two adversaries are forced to escape together through the rebel held Wanni and later, cross the abandoned Wilpattu National Park on foot.

Bitter enemies at the start of their journey, Captain Wasantha and the Tiger activist Kamala, face innumerable threats from wild animals and a gang of deserters who make determined and violent efforts to capture the woman. The constant external danger, and their enforced dependence on each other, gradually erodes the enmity and distrust.

But a shocking revelation confronts Captain Wasantha when he finally reaches Colombo. He is now compelled to choose between his friend and his country.

In his maiden role, the protagonist, Ashan Dias as a young Army Captain gives a superb performance while Suranga Ranawaka as a terrorist informant gives a commendable piece of acting in her debut role.

“I loved the character though it was filled with a lot of physical challenges,” Dias said. “It is a film not about war but of human relationships,” added Dias, a student of architecture in Australia. “I like to work with a young crowed and I am fully satisfied with the performance of the two main stars,” says director Chandran Rutnam.

Started while the civil war had its disastrous outcome and now released at a post war period, asked of what importance the movie was going to be, the directors said it had come at the right time.

‘The euphoria of war has to settle down and we must reflect on the reality now. It is a time of reconciliation,’ said the director who started his directorial journey with “Adara Kathawa,” which was Sri Lanka’s official entry to the International Film Festival of India and the Cairo Film Festival.

Rutnam also won the ‘Best Picture’ Award at the Presidential Awards in 1999 for the production of ‘Theertha Yathra’ (Pilgrimage) directed by Vasantha Obeysekera and was also the producer of veteran filmmaker Dr. Lester James Peries’ “Mansion by the Lake” which was selected for screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Other roles are played by Sanatha Gunathileke, Athula Pathirane, Joe Abeywickrema, Iranganie Serasinghe, Kumar Mirchandani and Veena Jayakody. Art was directed by Lionel Liyanage, make up by Ranjith Wickremasinghe, Suminda Weerasinghe is the director of photography of ‘Alimankada’ which was screenplay written, edited, produced and directed by Chandran Rutnam.


 

Courtesy: SundayTimes



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