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DateLine Wednesday, 5 September 2007

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Film Review:

Sikuru Hathe: A magnificent comedy

CINEMA: Sikuru Hathe is undoubtedly one of the best ever comedies made in the history of Sinhala cinema spanning for over six decades. It is the maiden cinematic creation of Giriraj Kaushalya who has already made his mark in the small-screen. And, he conquers the wide screen with a bang.

ROMANCE: A scene from Sikuru Hathe

The story is woven around a marriage broker who is an unprofessional personality and a very familiar figure in the Sri Lankan society. He is known for his tricks, deceptions and frustrations, the characteristics which highlight the adventures of a marriage broken.

Sikuru Hathe holds the audience attention from its very first frame to the last. While watching the Venus in the Seventh House, the viewers laugh through to the Seventh Heaven with a barrage of events throwing up hilarious moments.

Sea of laughter

Cleverly plotted intricately scripted intimately and pleasantly presented Sikuru Hathe, moves through a sea of laughter. It gives the audience cheerful storyline progressing into an a series of events leading to a joyful end.

We have already witnessed Giriraj's talent as a comedy writer in his tele-plays such as Ethuma and Nana Kamare. Sikuru Hathe puts then in the shade with its fun and frolics.

Comedy is instant pleasure and it effortlessly revives one's sensitivity and relieves his mental and emotional burdens with light-hearted entertainments spurred spontaneously. It moves from witty dialogues delivered in uninterrupted rapidity to keep the fun alive leaving no room for its spirit to evaporate.

Lifetime partnership

Beneath the convivial and friendly laughter it generates on the surface it communicates the travails of a father who is woefully struggling to give his daughter in marriage. Ironically he is a marriage brokes, who always tries to get two parties to agree on a lifetime partnership. However, when brokered marriages the parties concerned pursue him to teach a good lesson.

The sub-text of the script somewhat different. It is a tale of a man with an unsteady income doing a thankless job. His clients are never grateful to him. His profession has a social stigma. The marriage broker finds himself in an embarrassing situation when his daughter accidentally meets her life partner.

The film exposes the social weaknesses such as total dependence on brokers and horoscopes to find the best possible partner. The one who suffers most in this process is the marriage broker and Sikuru Hathe highlights this aspect.

Scenes in the film are evenly arranged and are interspersed with heavily loaded punches of fun to stimulate hilarity while maintaining an ethical balance that suits any family audience.

For instance, in one scene the marriage broker and the westernised girl hide themselves when they see her husband-to-be who hates western form of dress. She quite seriously and sternly asks the marriage broker whether he is wearing an under-wear. To which he responds with a shy and broad smile.

When the question is repeated, his reaction remains the same. Soon after the audience is made to realize that she is wearing his sarong to cover herself from being seen by him! So abrupt is the twist that it jolts the viewer.

Arranged marriages

For Mangala nothing matters other than arranged marriages based on the horoscope and social status. Ironically in contrast to what he had been practising it was not what he arranged that brought success, but one's destiny and merit that brought a successful marriage into being.

His own daughter was the best example. Intervention of the broker is only a step in the direction of getting two parties to meet each other before the knot was tied marking the beginning of conjugal life.

The inherent timidity of a marriage broker is skilfully brought to life by Vijaya Nandasiri. Equally well is the talented Anarkali Akarsha who is cast in role of the sophisticated girl.

Sikuru Hathe is full of entertainment for the entire family. It gives the rare opportunity for the filmgoer to cherish the real taste of a comedy that is based on characters we meet in our daily life.


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