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Compiled by Ruwini Jayawardana

A vibrant start to a 'youthful' mission

The maiden 'Sunday Observer Youth Club' get-together was held recently at the Trans Asia hotel. It was an evening filled with music, entertainment and youthful personalities. The event provided the opportunities for members to meet up and interact with some of their favorite artists.

Bandula Padmakumara, Chairman of ANCL, Dinesh Weerawansa, Editor of Sunday Observer, Pramod de Silva, Editor of Daily News, Sidath Wettamuni and Dr. Sarath Amarasekara were among those present. Music was provided by BLACK.

The first 'Observer Youth Club' was sponsored by Dialog kit, Hameedias, THAI Airways, Yamaha, Insomina, Trans Asia, Derana and TNL Rocks.


(From left) Susanthika Jayasinghe, Roshan Ranawana, Anarkali Aakarsha, Malith Perera, Shihan Mihiranga, Aruni Rajapaksha and Teekshana Anurada


Representatives from the three Armed Forces cut the ‘Observer Youth Club’ cake


Anushka Nanayakkara, Sajitha Prematunga and Panchamee Hewavissenti, the key organisers of the event


 Students from St. Joseph’s Convent, Nugegoda perform a dance item

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Take one, take two, take three...Oops!:

'Sir Last Chance'

The scene was not quite what we expected when we made our entrance. The portrait of the bold and quick-thinking detective put into Vijay Nandasiri's hands would have reduced James Bond to shame (Chris Carter would have been impressed though) as Nandasiri scurries out of sight, first behind the shivering Lucky Dias (who had hidden behind Nandasiri in the first place) before ducking for cover at the mere sound of gun shots from the bad guys! Well, that's 'Sir Last Chance' for you, Roy de Silva's newest cinematic creation now being shot in locations around Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and Bandarawela.

Palitha Silva, Anusha Damayanthi, Nilanthi Dias, Arjun Kamalahasan, Amisha Kavindi, Teddy Vidyalankara, Tyron Michael, Chathura Perera, and Sanath Wimalasiri are also included in the cast. Anura Pathirana will make his debut entrance to the field through 'Sir Last Chance.'

Priyantha Pathirage is the assistant director while Pushpakumara Bandara Rajaguru is the cameraman. Praveen Jayaratne is the editor and Jayaratne Galagedara is the operating executive. Manjula Ayagama is the arts director while Palitha Tennakoon is the production executive. All the equipment for the film were provided by Dil Films International.

The film includes four songs by Uresha Ravihari, Leslie Thomas, Sangeeth Wickramasinghe, Vijaya Nandasiri, Rodney Warnakula and Ivanka Peiris. Music is by Rohana Weerasinghe and Sangeeth Wickramasinghe. The movie is produced by Soma Edirisinghe on be half of E.A.P. Films.

The sequel of comic incidents erupts with a Sri Lankan producer's (Lucky) decision to engage two Indian actresses in his film. Due to the protests he receives for the decision from other artists in the field he decides to employ a private detective to keep an eye on the safety of the foreign actresses. Unfortunately, his choice had 'trouble'as his middle name!

Enter 'Sir Last Chance' (Vijaya), highly acclaimed private detective of the era and his team of highly trained and skilled federal agents known as the F.P.I. Together they work to ensure the safety of the Indian actresses but the question is will they end up in more danger in the hands of these pack or not? Well, you will just have to hold your breath and wait to find out as the film is planned to unspool on the wide screen around May next year.

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From the second assistant director plus costume designer-Sumana Amarasinghe

What was it like putting together a huge project like 'Sir Last Chance'?

"Around 30 years of experience in the cinema industry had enabled me to work on many areas. I have assisted Roy in all his productions. I designed the costumes according to the Western and Sri Lankan culture.

None of them have the Indian essence. The real challenge was to dress two men in women's attire but I am pleased to note they are the best looking men dressed in women's clothes that the audience had seen on the wide screen in film history."

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From the director, Roy

What is special about 'Sir Last Chance'?

"Firstly this is the first dts cinemascope digital comedy film to be made in Sri Lanka and includes scenes far from the stereotyped comic incidents found in most films." Tell me about the cast.

"All of Sri Lanka's leading comedians are included in this creation. Two Indian actresses will also take part in the film. Though I am against this policy of hiring Indian stars to act in our creations the audience will realise the reason for my action once they see the film. Anura Pathirana will also make his maiden entrance to the field." What message do you hope to convey to your audience?

"There is a massage but the audience will come to a realisation once they see the film. It is something to do on behalf of the country, culture and cinema industry." What are the scenes to watch out for?

"There is a comical Hindi song and a march past by the F.D.I. This comes along with a song sung by the actors themselves."

"I n the 90th century when less people were coming to see films, I was able to entertain masses through my 'Cheerio' and Rae Daniel Dawal Miguel series. We need to be able to provide two and a half hours of entertainment for the audience as they come to watch a film to repress their stress and worries.

There are no words indicating double meaning or vulgarity. It is a film that the young and old can enjoy." "It is pleasing to see the Sinhala cinema industry on an upward climb again. Many movies have become crowd pullers in the past few months. However the owners should realise that their theatres need renovation to suit the comfort of the audience."

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Vijaya: The detective

From the bubbling marriage broker to the humorous private detective. Vijaya Nandasiri gets another opportunity entertain the audience with a sea of laughter. Trace your path as a comic actor.

"I have portrayed different roles in around 35 films. Giriraj Kaushalya's Sikuru Hathae is the milestone in my career because it provided me with the opportunity to set the foundation as an actor capable in evoking humor. I do not wish to grade the role of the marriage broker as a pure comic character. It is through his actions and speech that the comedy emerges."

"I had the fortune to work with Giriraj's scripts on stage and tele serials. Nonawarunae Mahathwarunae, the hit tele series which became popular among young and old, brought us close together. That was the beginning and soon comedies like Ethuma and Kathura followed." "This is the first time I am acting in a lead role under Roy de Silva. We work as a team to make this film a success."

You have won much fame as a comic actor. Are you going to proceed as one? "I have taken part in many veteran artists' creations. Ediriweera Sarathchandra, Henry Jayasena, Dayananda Gunawardena, Simon Nawawatthegama and Dharmasiri Bandaranayeke are a few of them.

It was later in my career that I focused on comic roles and now I am being offered many such roles. If I feel that the script is good and that I will be able to do justice to the character I do not hesitate to take up the role. I love the challenge of performing diverse characters."

"I still act in stage dramas. You will be able to see my performances in Kakul Hatharai Illandariya, Mahasara, Kapuwa Kapothi and Nari Bena Saha Jasaya Saha Lenchina. I have also produced four stage dramas: Vrushaba Raja, Kusa Pabavathi, Siri Gajaba and Haratha Rajina. All these will be staged till next year.

Apart from 'Sir Last Chance' what are the other creations in store for your fans? "I double act in a tele drama named Suba Yasadirected by Shivagurunaden.

One is the serious character of the boss while the other is the timid role of the peon. The humor breaks through their exchange of roles."

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Lucky: The producer

He had proved himself worthy for a diversity of roles. He is at times the serious father. At other times he is the villain. He had adorned many creations as the leading figure or the hero of a tale. Now it is a chance to highlight the silver screen with his partner in "Yes Boss".

How do you grade your character?

"This my second comedy movie after Nawa Gilunath Ban Choon. For nearly 15 years I did not come across a comic character which I though as worthy to portray. I did not wish to take part in slap stick comedies.

Then I was offered the situational comedy series, "Yes Boss", where I got the opportunity to act opposite Nandasiri. We arrange our dialogues so that each does not overlap the other. That is the most important aspect in a comedy."

"I believe that an actor should be versatile. He or she should have the ability to portray different roles. Therefore I was very pleased to take over the role offered to me in this movie. This is a combination of veteran, youth and debut talent and provides laughter from beginning to end."

*************************

F.P.I .: The (what on earth...)

Rodney Warnakula, Priyantha Seneviratne, Anton Jude, Chathura Perera, Janesh Silva and Mahinda Pathirage. They are fearless, they are active, they are organised and they are, er... a magnet for disaster!

Ok, you guys. Tell me about the F.P.I.

Rodney: The F.P.I stands for the 'Federal People's Investigators'. It is a new concept made by the director. The F.B.I function in the US but we, the F.P.I are more powerful than them.

Priyantha: And we take up all the situations that they were unable to deal with.

Chathura: Sir Last Chance is our leader.

Anton: And we are funded by the US.

Janesh: Our mission in this movie is to provide security for the Indian actresses. Priyantha: We all have pistols but (whispering) it is sad to say that there is not a single bullet in them. Our honorable leader is very particular about the enemies being unhurt.

Anton: And saving our bullets!

Rodney: (interrupting) Actually there is only a single bullet available for one operation.

Chathura: We all have to share it.

Rodney: When one person had finished using it the other borrows and uses it next.

Anton: (shaking his head) even that was given to us by the US government through great difficulty. Bullets are very expensive, you know.

Rodney: We also have six women officers in the team. Though they are very pretty we do not even glance at them- with open eyes...

Anton: (Hastily) During duty hours.

Rodney:...we do that only with closed eyes!

Anton: (equally hastily) off duty.

Mahinda: (sadly) We make a lot of plans before taking up an assignment but unfortunately when plan A does not work neither does plan B, C, D, or E.

Janesh: Seeing is believing. If you watch the film you will see how much effort we put in to capture our foes.

Rodney: But you, come to think of it...these villains are pretty nice chaps. They surrender as soon as we let them know who the boss is.

Anton: and they even provide tea for us before being captured!

Rodney: With or without sugar.

OK, we get the point, fellas. Enough already.

*************************

Anarkalli: The journalist

Indian actresses visiting this country? Now that is a sure target for journalists. Anarkalli takes on a different role in her third comic movie.

What do you think about your character?

"This is my third comedy. This role is different for me. I have never portrayed a journalist before and the story is different. While most films take a romantic turn or focus on action or politics, 'Sir Last Chance' concentrates on something close to us - the Sinhala film industry. Many have not focused on this topic and the director had built a very interesting plot and chosen artists to suit the roles."

"My role is something which I relate to in real life as well because I have my own column in a paper. I understand how and what is expected of me and I am looking forward to the release of this film."

 

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