‘Garasarapa’: An astonishing summersault | Daily News

‘Garasarapa’: An astonishing summersault

Jayantha Chandrasiri’s new film ‘Garasarapa’ (Lurking serpent) slithers into its audience and constricts their minds. Jayantha bundles his spectators and lifts them into an altogether magical space where rhythm, sound, and stirs hiss at their hearts, poisoning them to believe another marvel of a Sinhala film in its seven-decade history.

The film hits the silver screen against a background when the Sinhala film industry lacks fans. Its film directors’ impotency in producing themes and scripts that rouse families to reach theatres from their living room TVs, is strangling the industry. Only a very few film directors succeeded in the recent past to break the manacles and hit box office with their movies. Jayantha Chandrasiri is, of course, among that few.

His Gharasarapa revolves around happenings. It does not tell a story as such. Jayantha coats this bit of a story with the demonic lore of our country stoning our intelligence and widening our imagination into a land of mysticism.

We meet Sandares Eirisinghe (Kamal Addararachchi) and his wife Frankie Edirisinghe (Ameesha Kavindi) when they were on a trip along with their two children and a group of friends. They unbend at an exquisite waterfall where Frankie is possessed by a legendary demon ‘Kalu Kumaraya’ (Black Prince, Jackson Anthony). With a series of flashbacks, the story takes us to young Sandares (Devnaka Porage) when he was travelling in a van with a pilgrimage to a church feast. He develops a crush on a Tamil girl, Vidya (Kavindya Adhikari), in the vehicle. In the meantime, Kalu Kumaraya, too attempts to possess Vidya and discerns young Sandares’ crush towards her and sets his heart to discourage him.

Vidya and her parents were visiting the church to get rid of the demon that she is possessed with. Coincidentally, Sandares is also in the church pilgrimage with his mother and uncle. His strong emotions for her relieve the girl of the demonic possession. During their stay at the church, Sandares and Vidya fall in love. The flashbacks take us to the past and then revert to the present. However, Sandares could not marry Vidya later in their lives since her parents had to migrate to Canada along with her as the LTTE riot (1980) hit Sri Lanka hard. After a prolonged unsuccessful search for Vidya, matured Sandares married Frankie. They now have two young children, a daughter and a son. Frankie visits a psychiatrist, Dr Vidya Doraiappa (Sangeetha Weeraratne), for her psychosis. After returning home, she tells Sandares that Dr. Vidya had asked Sandares to meet her at her clinic to discuss his wife's condition. He meets her and recalls that she is the girl he loved in his boyhood. They both feel that their love towards each other is still in flames even after 35 years.

In fact, Kalu Kumaraya in the past, changing his stance towards young Sandares knowing his true love, vows that he would bring Vidya to Sandares in whatever way he could and Sandares’ wife is possessed by him to take her to Dr. Vidya. In the final episode, Kalu Kumara tells Sandares that he fulfilled his pledge and fades away keeping Sandares and Dr. Vidya mesmerized in their unfulfilled love but blessed with a true-binding that never goes stale.

This ordinary story, the film director juxtaposes with the legendary Kalu Kumara. By doing so, he twists realism and makes the film topsy-turvy extraordinary. The magicians in Jayantha use Vidya's virginal beauty and handsomeness of inexperienced young Sandares as well as mysticism thereby entwining their crush towards each other to make it a story of true love that we in our heart seek unabated in our whole life.

The director uses surrealism not to clarify what he finds difficult to express, but to cajole as many as fans he can towards his film.

The deceiver in him weaves the story in such a way that his spectators believe its surrealism wholeheartedly and steps into reality, only whenever the director beckons them there just to nail them at the right moment to what he realizes as advanced and unchanged – the true love.

Talented directors use surrealism to say what he cannot express in real terms of life.

What they want to explain is ultra-important and incomprehensible in real terms that they are compelled to use surrealism to lever the meaning off of the underneath. Prassana Jayakody’s ‘28’ has surrealistic scenes to explain the unexplainable. Here, Jayantha Chandrasiri grips it to make his film fantastic to filmgoers and multiply their number in thousands.

The music (Chintaka Jayakody) is idealistic. It refines our cultural nuances and beliefs. Drums and other traditional instruments being used at blessing ceremonies and demons-expelling (bali and thovil) are alive in the background music and that rouse our mystic beliefs. The theme song embraces the whole film, caressing its audience. The cinematography (Prabath Roshan) is innovative and imaginative. Some of the aerial, vertical, shots and close-ups are the best of them.

The selected locations are breathtaking. Every scene has been captured against the most suitable background for them. The aerial shots of the expressway, church sceneries and over-the-shoulder shots of the waterfall are amazingly beautiful.

The credit must go to its Director Jayantha Chandrasiri. He possesses skills and talents that Sinhala film industry is yearning for unabated. This time he uses his talents to attract fans in their thousands to theatres for his film. It will be a blockbuster, no doubt.

Actors and actresses in the film possess their roles extremely well. Of them, Kamal Addaraarachchi, Sriyantha Mendis, Ameesha Kavindi, Kusum Renu, Devnaka Porage, Kavindya Adhikari, and in her limited role, Sangeetha Weeraratne, have achieved their best. Jackson Anthony, as usual, possesses them all with his acting and voice.

It is a great summersault. The summersault, Jayantha, are simply astonishing!

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