Wild innocence

By Sarashi Samarasinghe
It speaks of emotions, it speaks of sensitivity and it speaks of sharing. It is none other than ‘Bindu’, the latest artistic creation of Somaratne Dissanayake, soon to appear on the silver screen.
‘Bindu’ revolves around two little children and a wild baby elephant named Bindu.
“I guess that the earth we live in belongs equally to humans as well as wild animals, so that it should be shared between people and wild beasts,” said Dissanayake.

According to Dissanayake, he sees the wild elephant problem in rural villages in the same manner.
“Wild elephants come into villages in search of food. The reason for that is the lack of food within the forests,” said Dissanayake.
He further stated that his main intention, through this film, is to deliver the message of environmental friendliness among humans and wild animals.

Muthu is the 10-year-old son of a chena cultivator who lives in a village threatened by elephants.
Seven-year-old Mali, the only child of a neighbouring chena cultivator, is Muthu’s best friend.
Mali and Muthu make friends with a wild baby elephant named Bindu and its mother who damage their chena fields.
The two children maintain this beloved friendship in secrecy, because the farmers in the village treat elephants as their enemies.
As time passes, Muthu’s mother is killed by an elephant.

On becoming aware of the relationship between the children and Bindu, a businessman from the city, together with Mali’s father, plan to bring tourists into the village. Muthu is against it.
Eventually, the village becomes a tourist rest.

One day, due to unruly conduct by a group of tourists, Bindu’s mother gets annoyed and kills Muthu’s father. Bindu’s mother too is killed in this incident.

Bindu being an orphan now, is taken away by Wildlife officers to the Pinnawela elephant orphanage, to the dislike of Muthu and Mali, though they agree with the suggestion made by the Wildlife officers, before Bindu’s departure to the orphanage.
“I did a lot of research for two years before making this movie, because this problem was there in the villages for centuries,” said Dissanayake.

Dissanayake has also lived in villages threatened by elephants for three to four months, to gather knowledge.
“The main location for the movie was Alakula Weva near Sigiriya where we started shooting in January and ended in March,” said Dissanayake.
The movie will be in theatres from next month and it will be mainly on the EAP circuit.
“Making of the movie was a great challenge for me, because it is some times hard to practically create the incidents I envisage,” stated Dissanayake.

Bindu was from a temple in Tissamaharama and both baby and its mother were trained by an Indian animal trainer.
“The cast rendered excellent support in making this movie a success, especially the two children who played the main roles, Sachin Chathuranga as ‘Muthu’ and Ruvindika Ishadini as ‘Mali’,” said Dissanayake.
According to Dissanayake he has done five movies to date, while Bindu is his sixth.
“My first movie was ‘Saroja’ in 2000, followed by ‘Punchi Suranganavi’, ‘Sooriya Arana’, ‘Samanala Thatu’ and ‘Siri Raja Siri’,” he added.

Apart from ‘Bindu’, Dissanayake is looking forward to directing a new concept in the near future, for which he already has the script.
“This movie is going to be very different from the others, because it is about the sexuality of a mentally retarded person,” stated Dissanayake.
‘Bindu’s supporting cast included Jayantha Muthuthanthri, Kumara Thirimadura, Jayalath Manorathne, Jayani Senanayake and Athula Liyanage.

Art direction by Sunil Wijerathne, makeup by Ebert Wijesinghe, music by Rohana Weerasinghe and assistant direction by Daminda Madawela.
Editing was by Ravindra Guruge, camera direction by Suminda Weerasinghe, while production management was by Renuka Balasooriya.

Story, script and direction by Somaratne Dissanayake.
“I hope that ‘Bindu’ would be a success with our local audience. The movie will also participate in other international film festivals shortly,” said Dissanayake, concluding his conversation with, TV Guide.