Ravindra and Nita, scene at Nuwara Eliya.
|Directed by||Vijaya Dharmasri|
|Music by||Sarath Dassanyake|
Duhulu Malak is a 1976 Sinhalese language romance film directed by Vijaya Dharmasri that follows the lives of middle-class people in Sri Lanka. The film stars Nita Fernando, Ravindra Randeniya and Tony Ranasinghe and is notable for containing the first depiction of adultery in a Sinhala film. As per some cinema analysts, the story of the film advises young people to be aware of their own attitudes, such as understanding, fairness and patience as they will lead them to a better married life.
Theme and plot synopsis
A bored housewife (Nita Fernando) married to a university lecturer, her cousin brother (Tony Ranasinghe) seeks out external influences to remedy her boredom in 1970s middle class society in Sri Lanka.
One day the housewife, Nilupa Suraweera and their servant goes for shopping and they meet one neighbour, a young man named Rohan (Ravindra Randeniya) inside a shop and they talk and recognize each other. Then, gradually the friendship between the two grows into a deeper bond. One day, the young man invites the lady and family except the husband Suraweera, to visit a ship that had arrived from abroad at the Colombo port. Inside the ship, the lady and the young man are left alone and their hidden feelings are exposed, as a love affair blooms.
The lady gets to know about a musical show conducted at a place that they can reach very easily, by one of her favorite music stars. She likes to attend this show, but Suraweera is not willing, although he finally agrees. They meet Rohan there as well and they have a small chat. They come home early because Suraweera is not interested in the show.
In the meantime, the lovers meet each other secretly, mostly in the absence of the lady's husband. The servant of the house also shows a slight willingness to support their secret love affair. Once the couple escapes narrowly as the husband returns home earlier than before.
One day, the family schedules to visit the hill country Nuwara Eliya because the husband has some official commitments in the area. The lady informs her lover about this journey as well and they meet there secretly to enjoy.
Later on, one neighbor who likes to gossip about other people's matters notices this love affair and informs the husband several times through anonymous phone calls. The husband who is now upset about the situation, decides to discuss the matter with his wife. Afterwards, he advises her not to step out of the house without his permission. During this time, the lady also begins to understand the complexity of this illicit affair as her only intention was to wipe out her boredom, although the lover is actually very serious about it.
A lady who works in Rohan’s office is interested in him, but he his not interested in her. So, she suspects that Rohan may be having a girl friend. She secretly investigates about it and comes to know that he is having an illicit affair with a married woman. One day she meets Nilupa and informs her that she is going to marry Rohan and threatens her to stop the affair between them. In the same way, she visits Rohan’s home and informs this matter to his adopted parents as well.
One day, one of the lady's good friends visit them and ask her if she can visit her place to make a cake. After seeking permission from the husband, the lady goes with her friend to meet her lover. When they meet, she tries hard to explain to him the complexity of the situation, but the lover, who is crazy about her, is not willing to listen to her.
Sometime later, one day the husband witnesses his wife going out with another person in a car. He immediately attempts to follow the car, but fails to reach them. Irritated with everything that had happened, he rushes home to send the child and servant to their parent’s home.
During this same period, the lady manages to make her lover understand the complex nature of this issue and thereby agrees to make a halt to their extramarital affair and return home. But, when she returns home, she finds her husband so furious, that he is almost ready to kill her. So, she apologizes to her husband for all the mistakes she had committed and also promises never to deceive him in that way.
- Nita Fernando as Mrs. Nilupa Suraweera
- Ravindra Randeniya as Rohan Athukorala
- Tony Ranasinghe as Mr. Suraweera
- Suminda Sirisena as Upali
The music in the film was composed by Sarath Dassanayake. Play back singing in the song "Rankenden Bendi Aadarayi" was by Nanda Malini. Sujatha Attanayake and Abeywardena Balasooriya dueted on "Bonda Meedum Kandu Relle", which was penned by Ajantha Ranasinghe.
- The psychological background of the story is very keenly highlighted here. The husband, who is always dedicated to his work does not bother to understand his wife's feeling nor has any time for her. The wife treats the husband well, but his disregard for her feelings, causes her to deceive him in order to search for love. The lover too has been adopted by a couple and does not have real parents, and hence no parental love. He too is in search of love. But, the lady who went in search of love also values family life, and so only treated the relationship as a place for her to ease her tensions.
- The fantastic scenery shown in the film is from an area called "Selesumthenne" at Nuwara Eliya with a background song "Bonda Meedum Kandu Relle-Surangana Rajadahane" (living in a fairyland surrounded by misty mountains).