Story is the core ingredient of any movie. It’s the big unknown for the audience which keep them glued to the screen awaiting what happen next. When a movie is based on a historical event that most people aware of, creator of that movie loses the advantage of having an unknown story to keep audience attract. Therefore, he/she would have to master in using other cinematic elements to achieve that.
Aloko Udapadi faces the same issue as it is based on the events mentioned in written history of Sri Lanka . In my opinion Aloko updapadi excels in some areas while lacking in some as mentioned in the title . Let’s check out each of them briefly.
Except for few occasions Sri Lankan cinema failed to capitalize the power of cinematography. Be it camera angles , movements , lightning , or composition most Sri Lankan films operates in extremely limited scope .There might be budget concerns but this makes Sri Lankan cinema below par compared to international cinema.
Aloko Udapadi is a rare exception which has great cinematic experience throughout the film. It seems each and every frame properly designed to deliver the message creator intended. There were some memorable visuals which could go neck and neck with International cinema (I won’t describe them here to avoid spoilers) . Even with the negative factors described in latter section of the article movie is watchable thanks to the great cinematography.
Quality visual alone cannot deliver a good cinematic experience to the audience. Properly crafted audio track also a must -specially with modern multi channel audio technologies and music is a key component when it comes to the audio of a Historical drama . Simply the music of Aloko Udapadi is equally good and powerful as it’s visual.
VFX was never a strong suite of Sri Lanka cinema. Recent movies like Maha Raja Gamnunu and Ran Kevita used significant amount of effects which look artificial in most occasions. Considering state of Sri Lankan cinema we really can’t blame . But however Aloko Udapadi managed to deliver one of most realistic visual effects seen in Srti Lankan cinema . Some of situations where VFX could come in handy are avoided but the what is being done is good and commendable
As explained above the story of the film is known to audience , so the narrative is the next best thing director got . But sadly Aloko Udapadi failed miserably in this aspect. A good narrative should focus on the characters , relationships between them and the events they involved in , but Aloko Udapadi focused on the historic events than the characters . None of the characters solidly developed hence audience doesn’t get any perspective on them (except for the negative characters which is obvious ) . Even the character of King Walagambha is not portrayed in way which highlights his personality , relationships , intentions or emotions . Humanitarian side of him not visible nor the characteristics which could indicate him as the King of Sinhale . Audience is just given a character with a label and he is just the guy who was there when all of these events took place . Almost all characters appear, disappear and re appear without having any impact on audience or the story, mainly because the movie has taken the narrative style of a documentary which displays set of events that could construct a story eventually . So the characters only effects in certain events and disconnected from the audience . The only exception is the Character called “Theha” which is comparatively well build character.
Unlike in a documentary creators of a movie have the artistic freedom to add certain things so that narration of the story will be attractive to audience .
As an example when two parties are having a war , there will be humongous preparations in both sides . Planning , organizing , motivating and the journey until the battle field . All of these may be hidden in written history and are not necessary to display in a documentary , but in other hand these things can be manipulated in artistic manner to magnify the personality , emotions and abilities of characters in a movie script
Sadly in this aspect Aloko Udapadi looks more like a documentary than a movie . If we compare the the movie “Maha Raja Gamunu “ to Aloka Udapadi , former is much better narrated story even though it lacks some of good qualities of latter
Again it is unfair to expect Hollywood (or even Bollywood ) like action sequences from a Sri Lankan movie , but Aloko udapadi could have better actions with similar amount of resources if directed properly by an experienced action director
Most people including my self was delighted by the trailer of Aloko udapadi which released around 1 year back . But unfortunately the wow factor we had with the trailer is not there in the movie . The trailer basically highlights the good of the film which is much lesser interesting. Still it is a watchable movie due to the “The Good” I highlighted above at least as an encouragement for Sri Lankan cinema.