Love not so blind | Daily News

Love not so blind

Bennett Rathnayake’s newest film Nela is scheduled to be screened from February in the CEL circuit. Nela is based on Marianela originally written by the Spanish novelist Benito Perez Galdos in the beginning of the 20th century. The story has been translated into Sinhala as Nela by Indrani Ratnasekera.

Rathnayake is the director of award-winning films Aswesuma, Sulanga and Ira Handa Yata. Some of his films have been recognised at international award ceremonies. The director himself has written the screenplay of Nela.

Nela revolves around wealthy Sri Lankan Zoysa family who pioneered owning and managing Tea estates by the locals in the dawn of the 20th century, just after the Colonial era.

George, the only child in Zoysa family, is blind from his birth. At his tender age, he loses his mother. A damsel called Nela, being an orphan living on the same estate with a Tamil family, develops an affectionate attachment with George in his budding young age, despite his disability.

Nela had met with a fatal accident as an infant that has left her with scars and bruises on one side of her body including the face. Within her mind, Nela is quite comfortable with George’s blind nature, as she thinks that her true physical state might lead him to dump her.

A doctor who comes to the estate on an invitation from the senior Zoysa cures George. In the midst of this scenario, George’s beautiful cousin arrives at the estate bungalow to look after him. Events take a dramatic turn afterwards.

Bennett Rathnayake, a fine film craftsman, has adopted a different presentation style for the film. The scenic beauty of the hill country, coupled with wonderful casting, brings an unsullied treat for the audience.

Casting for the movie has been done brilliantly. Performances of Thumindu Dodantenna as the doctor and Udari Perera as Nela’s young mother (before her demise) are excellent. Thumindu Dodantenna on horseback looks very similar to the Hollywood actor Donald Sutherland and his performance is, of course, par excellence.

The picturesque beauty of the surroundings and performances of actors are captured well by the camera. The director has made use of his prowess as an experienced and technically qualified filmmaker. With Nela, Ratnayake proves his mettle once again.

Nela is going to be a rare treat for the audiences.


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