Yal Devi Glides along the reel
With the theme of exploring the vibrations of terrorism in the isle
and the lives of expatriates in the west, Sumedha Jayasena’s maiden
movie Yal Devi is getting set to hit film theaters. The movie had been
screened in several main cities in USA amidst raving reviews.
“Many questioned why I did the movie. Several incidents inspired me
to piece together the episodes. I am one of those Sri Lankan expatriates
living in Los Angeles who has never mentally left Sri Lanka. I have
followed the events in home soil on a routine basis and have been
studying the rift between the ethnic groups in detail,” Jayasena who is
also the main actor, producer and the joint script writer of the film
He had built up the storyline for Yal Devi along with seasoned writer
and artiste Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilaka. Though he emerges from a
scientific backdrop, employed as a Molecular Biologist, Jayasena reveals
that art is in his genes.
He says: “My father was an ardent Sinhalese poet who followed the
footsteps of the late Kumaratunga Munidasa. I grew up listening to him
reciting his creations aloud. I was driven to compose quite a few verses
myself. However my decision to venture into cinema sprung out of my keen
desire to experiment with new technological devices.” Yal Devi is a
touching tale in which two individuals who have fled from home to find a
better living abroad are drawn together.
They who represent different ethnic groups of the country forget
their differences when they encounter love. For Manoj and Savithri,
their diverse traditions, customs and languages are not barriers.
Metaphorically the attempts to tear them away from each other are a sign
of the elder generation’s antagonism towards each other.
Director Jayasena at the sets
The movie indicates that all ethnic harmony will prevail only if Yal
Devi, the train which made its way from the south to the north will once
again begin her journey so that visitors from each region are able to
cross over and roam among each other within the country.
“My ambition was to make a movie which both Sinhalese and Tamils can
watch and share experiences together.
The rift between the two groups was not confined to the shores of the
island. It had spilled over to many countries in the western part of the
globe. The US has been a part of the international theater for this
conflict. I wanted to portray how the society operated towards this
problem in foreign countries and its affect on the Sri Lankan migrants,”
Jayasena said adding that the movie includes English dialogues as well
as English subtitles so that the western audience can follow the tale.
The cast comprises of many new faces including Thushari as Savithri,
the main female lead. Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilaka, Shirani Kaushalya,
Madara Jayasena, Rajikka Natkunanathan, Kithsiri Rajapakse, Sisira
Senaviratne, Tusitha de Silva and others also portray significant roles.
Sunil Edirisinghe’s well loved track Aney Yal Devi is among the songs
which are a part of the film. Other songs are penned by Bhadraji Mahinda
Jayatilaka and sung by Nilakshi Jayaweerasingham and Jayatilaka. The
music is by Shantha Gunaratne. The movie is a Pixel Place Production.