- 1 hr 25 min
Kaliyugaya is a Sri Lankan film directed by Lester James Peries, which was released in 1982. The movie is an adaptation of the play with the same name by Martin Wickremasinghe. It is a thought-provoking story that explores the human condition and the state of society in an era of social and political upheaval. The film is set in the coastal village of Thotagamuwa in the early twentieth century. The village has been in decline for some time due to the loss of its traditional livelihoods, and the arrival of British colonial forces has further disrupted the social fabric. The story is centered around two brothers, Jinadasa (Punya Heendeniya) and Sarath (Henry Jayasena), who represent two opposing forces in the village. Jinadasa is the village headman, who represents the old order and his brother Sarath is a young, disillusioned intellectual who represents the new ideas that are emerging in the society. The movie opens with Jinadasa returning to the village after a trip to Colombo. On his way back, he is robbed by a group of young men who taunt him and leave him stranded in the jungle. Meanwhile, Sarath has returned to the village after a long time away studying in the city. He is highly critical of the village and its traditional ways, which he sees as backward and oppressive. He also has a contentious relationship with his brother Jinadasa, who he sees as a symbol of the old order that must be changed. As the story unfolds, we see the tensions between the two brothers escalate. Sarath becomes increasingly radicalized and starts organizing protests against the village headman's rule. Meanwhile, Jinadasa tries to hold on to the old ways and resist the changes that are coming. The conflict between the two leads to a violent confrontation that has profound and tragic consequences for the village. The movie is a powerful commentary on the impact of colonialism on the traditional village way of life. It is an insightful exploration of the tensions between tradition and modernity and the way in which these tensions play out in society. The two brothers represent two sides of a coin, and they are both ultimately victims of the historical forces that are shaping their lives. The acting in the movie is superb, especially the performances of Punya Heendeniya and Henry Jayasena. Heendeniya's portrayal of the village headman is nuanced and complex, and he brings a sense of gravitas to the role. Jayasena's portrayal of the young intellectual is equally impressive as he captures the sense of anger and frustration that comes from being caught between two worlds. The cinematography is also noteworthy, capturing the rugged beauty of the Sri Lankan coastline and the stark poverty of the village. The movie's use of sound is also exceptional, with the sound of the ocean waves and the jungle contributing to the overall atmosphere and mood of the film. In conclusion, Kaliyugaya is an important film that is as relevant today as it was when it was made in 1982. It is a powerful commentary on the struggles faced by traditional societies in an era of rapid change and colonisation. The performances, direction, and cinematography all work together to create a compelling and thought-provoking movie that is well worth watching.