Seeking death’s place in life | Daily News


Sansare Dadayakkaraya

Seeking death’s place in life

Movie Review

The jungle seems mystical. Its gasps sound enthralling and its inhabitants look mystic. To understand the phenomena of the jungle needs a third eye since it naturally complicates rather than expounding. Those who seek explanations, necessarily, should look outside by being, at the same time, within it.

Prasanna Jayakody’s new film Sansare Dadayakkara (Leopard do not bite) coaxes us into this bestial jungle. He attempts to portray its images, its sounds, its traits and its hidden corners in a mesmerizing manner bringing us closer to its inhabitants and its life-like meaning through metaphors, allegories and symbols rather than through dialogues.

The hunter (Sanjeewa Upendra) in the film, therefore, essentially differs from his kind. He seems mystically ascetic, global, and inhabits the jungle forever. He seeks, probes in, and awaits awakening that will make him understand the jungle. The monk (Hemasiri Liyanage), too, seeks enlightenment. He looks into his religion for answers. He wants others into his fold and cautions his followers against sins. Meanwhile, the leopard roams in the jungle. It feeds on others. No sin prevents it from killing. The reckless, lustful and extremists become its victims. Those who are in continuous perseverance to satiate lust, like of Gomari (Christina Britto), and her fiancé find no mercy in its path.

Being apart from religion, the hunter, meanwhile, listens motionless to silence, breaths, voices, yells of the jungle, and contemplates over leopard’s victims. In the jungle, victims naturally exist. As far as the mind seeks the desired, the leopard prevails and hunts. At one instant, the hunter and the monk are watching the victims of the leopard. The victims’ bodies have decomposed. While the hunter seems unfazed, the monk becomes fretful and fearful. He backs away and hurries from the place. The hunter, ironically, realises a universal truth or understands its phenomena on his own. He grasps that knowledge by being in the jungle for uncountable years.

The essence of the film unfolds when the hunter probes into a hollow of the massive tree in the jungle. It seems the transit or the mirror that reflects the root of all happenings of the whole world. The tree exists and grows feeding on what is its inside and beyond. The invisible, unbelievable, chaotic drama exposes along with streams of gasps, yells, thuds, and blasts pump out from within infusing themselves with pieces of awakening music. Here the hunter puzzles, yet seems to reach a glimpse of an understanding. Meanwhile, the camera takes us on and down the tree, its roots, trunk, bark, twigs, branches, the knotted, crown…; the huge tree seems growing as it is being watched. In fact, it never stops growing, rooting. All are in it, whether they like it or not. All are in a non-stop competition as its sounds suggest a ferocious struggle within for living, for lust and for the existence itself.

Simultaneously, the Poya day full moon illuminates the whole jungle. Is it from where the hunter, detached and alienated, embraces understanding? The full moon seems symbolizing detachment, enlightenment or universal happiness. The hunter momentarily understands it. Yet his puzzlement shows in his eyes; his pose and his look suggest that his journey does not end.

Prassana has woven his film from the novel Dadayakkarayage Kathawa, (Hunter’s Story) of the late veteran novelist, dramatist, scriptwriter, actor Simon Navagattegama. The Dadayakkaraya is a series of novels. All of them are psychoanalytic novels that read a universal truth in the existence of beings. If filmgoers run seeking a film that gives out something enlightening, Prasanna’s film will provide them with a respite. The film director in Prasanna is a truth-seeker. His excellent craft and magic of cinematography is unquestionable. Sansare Dadayyakara proves this fact very well. The film fully grasps cinematic expressions and gets away with non-cinematic linear, conventional story-telling. Sansare Dadayakkaraya also makes us think. It is a lesson of cinematography and Musician Sumudu Guruge elevates it to the top with his music. It does not attempt to expose a religion, though it seems touching the core of a certain religion. It rather talks about a hidden universal chain. 

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