Heart FM: an intermingle of youth, love, creativity and meaning
by Ruwini Jayawardana
Senesh Dissanayake Bandara's 'Heart FM' adorns the Sinhala silver
screen in EAP theatres island wide with its ability to touch all those
young at heart. Though the story is no masterpiece, Senesh had mastered
aesthetic skills in presenting the episodes in an appealing manner.
The movie is running into a packed house audience and is possibly
another trend setter by the young director of the "Aadaraneeya Wassanaya"
The story unravels that it is a person's qualities, not their looks
that count. It is centered on three main characters, Shakya (Sachini
Ayendra), a daughter of a politician, her sister Mandakini a.k.a Mandy (Kanchana
Mendis) and Rajiv, a young DJ working at a radio station (Gayan
Wickramatileke). Shakya encounters Rajiv via 'Home Delivery' a song
Rajiv is touched by Shakya's tale of woe, a tale she relates by
taking on a new identity - that of her sister's. Rajiv peruses the real
Mandakini believing she is the one who continues to phone him. Finally
the big day arrives with Rajiv encountering Mandakini. Day breaks with a
close relationship forming between the duo.
Then the story takes two unexpected turns. Mandakini has a sickly
daughter, Rachel (Dinuli Mallawarachchi), from a previous romantic
encounter abroad. The father of the child (Aruna Lian) arrives in Sri
Lanka for the custody of his daughter.
Mandakini has no other option but to turn towards Rajiv for help.
Significantly at the same stage Shakya is faced with a dilemma. She who
had arranged for Rajiv and her sister to meet realizes that she herself
has a romantic attraction towards Rajiv, an attraction so strong that
she is willing to break through social morals and family ties to get
what she believes is hers.
Though the outward framework of 'Heart FM' is given a light touch the
movie reveals the true state of the present society. Selfishness
overtakes all barriers and ambitious individuals will take on any
obstacle or risk to meet their needs.
This is revealed clearly towards the end as the disturbed mind of
Shakya is brought out in the form of a series of episodes during her
confession in a hypnotized stage to the psychiatrist. With a light hint
of humour the director allows satire to take over as we watch how the
green-eyed monster takes control over a once bubbly, happy-go-lucky
character - a personification of the unbalanced mind itself.
Another aspect to take note is that the director had let the images
do most of the talking. The count down of days pending for Shakya's exam
and Rachel's operation is shown by the numerals pasted on the walls and
on bedside tables in the character's rooms constantly hinting that the
prank played on Rajiv is about to an end and the desperate situation of
Mandakini which made her set aside her pride and ask for help from Rajiv
and eventually her parents.
These scenes constantly enforced upon the viewer's mind, heightening
the tension, may be a form of excusing Mandakini's actions in
practically using Rajiv, a man she had just met for a charity
promotional programme and trusts as far as to entrust her daughter's
safety to him.
A question arises in the viewer's mind when Rajiv who was deeply
affected by Shakya's prank fails to recognize her voice after having
encountered her sister, Mandakini. Yet again he identifies her voice
when the latter calls him from the hospital before things are brought to
Though shooting had taken place in Colombo director Senesh had
managed to bring the beauty and gaiety that are connected with youth
lifestyle. With bright colours, eye catching settings and refined DI and
DO technology (Digital Optical and Digital Intermediate) the director
was able to transform the dreary Colombo environment to a spirited world
of fantasy so typical for youths.
Sachini Ayendra as Shakya enacts her role to expertise transforming
herself from a lively personality to a mentally imbalanced murderess.
Kanchana and Gayan too contribute to display their talent though the
latter leaves the former looking like nothing more than a wallflower,
taking note of him when the need arises and barely acknowledging his
existence at other times.
Apart from the three main roles other roles are played by Irangani
Serasinhghe, Chandani Seneviratne, Tony Ranasinghe, Mahendra Perera,
Aruna Lian, Shrimal Wedisinghe, Pradeep Senanayake, Deepani Silva, Rex
Koddipilli, Shani Fonseka, Sahan Ranwala, Varuni Madupani, Vindya
Madusankani and Dinuli Mallawarachchi.