25 May, 2024


Film Review: ‘Munnel’ (2023) By Visakesa Chandrasekaram: A Deep Dive Into Humanity 

By Tharupathi Munasinghe – 

Dr. Tharupathi Munasinghe

‘Munnel’, also known as ‘Sand’ or ‘Soil’ in translation, is a captivating film exploring the human experience’s intricacies in Sri Lanka’s haunted and turbulent history. This film’s premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), a platform known for promoting creative filmmaking, is a compelling testament to the enthralling synthesis of artistry and historical relevance.

‘Munnel’ is a thought-provoking look into human nature. This intriguing film explores the depths and intricacies of life. The film skilfully explores human nature’s beauty and evil through introspection.

‘Munnel’, a thought-provoking film, explores human nature against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Sri Lanka, a tourist destination, may entice one with its beautiful scenery. Under this lovely facade comes a tragic narrative of a deadly conflict between Sinhalese and Tamil minorities. 

‘Munnel’, directed by Visakesa Chandrasekaram, explores Sri Lankan Tamil culture and the civil war’s tragically neglected phase. The Sri Lankan government and the mysterious ‘terrorist’ LTTE fight a gripping struggle in the world narrative. The video expertly explores deep themes, highlighting Tamil minority prejudice and marginalisation. The film bravely exposes the Sri Lankan government’s misdeeds, including suicide bombings and child military recruiting. Despite the LTTE’s criticism, this film bravely explores these uncomfortable occurrences, captivating, and disturbing audiences with its raw reality. The film explores how influential people hide their crimes in a terrifying depiction of power’s dark side. Denial and obfuscation are used to conceal war criminals from punishment. This thought-provoking narrative illuminated the dark truths behind torture, disappearances, and human casualties.

‘Munnel’s depiction of 2009 war violence is heartbreaking. The film vividly depicts this time’s horrific human rights abuses, evoking the documentary “No Fire Zone: In the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.” Chandrasekaram’s realistic description of the “no fire zones” immerses the audience in their terrifying reality. The devastating shelling in these apparently safe havens is shown in depth, giving viewers a deep feeling of the tragedies.

‘Munnel’ is a compelling film that blends history with storytelling. This film illuminates a conflict that is underreported globally despite its vast breadth and severe impact. Chandrasekaram’s latest film explores conflict’s devastating human toll. This film’s vital and essential message emphasises truth, reconciliation, and healing. A must-see for socially conscious cinema.

‘Munnel’, a cinematic masterpiece, explores the unfathomable depths of human experience, mesmerising spectators. Translation: ‘Sand’ or ‘Soil’, this film is more than just amusement; it offers a thought-provoking voyage that leaves a lasting impression. This Tamil drama, directed by Visakesa Chandrasekaram, masterfully weaves an emotional story amid Sri Lanka’s stunning settings.

The name ‘Munnel’ fits. Like the fertile soil that sustains life, this film’s narrative develops our essence by digging deep into the human experience. This film’s authenticity comes from its deep connection to Sri Lankan Tamil culture, giving it a unique feel. The characters’ emotions are so realistically shown that spectators may empathise with their stories across cultures.

Chandrasekaram’s writing and directing skills are displayed in this film, screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. This cinematic masterpiece’s accolades prove its greatness. The filmmaker’s excellent storytelling engulfs viewers in each character’s throbbing beat, deep emotions, and infectious enthusiasm.

‘Munnel’ is a cinematic masterpiece that blends cinematography and sound design to create a perfect emotional symphony. The film captures Sri Lankan Tamil culture perfectly, enthralling audiences. This film’s capacity to transcend cultural boundaries and explore human experience sets it different. This film’s profound study of love, sorrow, hope, and resilience connects with viewers worldwide.

Unsurprisingly, critics worldwide praised the film. ‘Munnel’ is a remarkable example of artistic integrity and unmatched perfection in a profit-driven film industry. This film poignantly reminds us that cinema is about storytelling. The story goes into the subtle nuances of the human heart and soul, engaging spectators with its profound analysis of the human experience.

Finally, ‘Munnel’ transcends cinema and becomes an immersive experience. Visakesa Chandrasekaram’s latest film is a cinematic masterpiece that lingers in the viewer’s mind long after the credits roll. A moving and thought-provoking look at the complexity of human experience, rooted in our shared humanity. Recommended for cinephiles who enjoy thought-provoking films’ profundity and intellectual stimulation.

*Dr. Tharupathi Munasinghe – Deakin University

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Latest comments

  • 2

    It is high time that SL citizens to rethink…. shed the biased opinions/feelings towards other other Sri Lankans of different religions/ethnicity etc. It is a pity that still there is not a single Statesman to come up from our country. Time to dissolve the parliament should come AFTER a new constitution is passed by REFERENDUM

  • 8

    “Munnel”! முன்னல்?
    I guess it is “maNal” (மணல்) meaning sand.
    Soil is generally called maN (மண்)

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