This film is a sort of love triangle. Sarasi is a string, wealthy girl who doesn’t want a traditional wedding in a arranged way. She falls for her childhood best friend Chamath. Chamath, on his part years for freedom from his family, to be himself. Enter a handsome young mechanic Nalin and sparks fly between everyone. Chamath and Nalin end up hooking up with each other on the day he is getting engaged to Sarasi. This is what Chamath had been waiting for and the two boys instantly fall in love with each other, thereby, breaking off the engagement and souring the childhood friendship between Sarasi and Chamath. Chamath leaves his village and joins a fashion class. Nalin, now is not very sure because he is not comfortable being openly gay (Something which Chamath is now comfortable with). Sarasi and Nalin end up marrying and when news reaches Chamath, he tries to commit suicide. This is when Nalin realizes that he cannot take out Chamath from his heart but is now also responsible for his wife who son becomes pregnant. The couple has cracks in their relationship because Sarasi now suspects that Nalin is gay. Nalin occasionally still meets Chamath but neither is sure where this is leading to. Chamath now is a cross dresser and doesn’t want to live a li and Nalin is still not ok accepting him this way. They both realize that the two have ultimately grown apart over the years. Sarasi’s daughter grows up and eventually the trio meet after many years, trying to forget the bitter past and lead a new happy and healthy life.
First thing we all should know is that, legally being gay is still illegal in Sri Lanka and police can arrest and prosecute homosexual people. If found guilty, they can be imprisoned up to eight years. So, this alone makes choosing a subject like this very interesting. But the execution of the script gets a bit complicated every now and then. The movie keeps jumping in future for no reason, thereby creating confusion for the viewers. But knowing the culture closely of the country, I can empathize with the characters and the behaviors they exhibit and why. One good thing about the film is that it never goes over the top. It stays grounded and subtle with exceptionally good performances by every actor. Being gay is still quite a battle. I think the film can use a bit of crisper editing and better lighting and I am sure this film can do exceptionally well in film circuits and festivals. This film offers something fresh and original and reminds us all that in South Asian context, the very basic lack of understanding the nuances of human sexuality makes life so much more harder.
Frangipani proves that gay relationships are often just as complicated as straight relationships, despite whatever the feelings of their surrounding society may be. Strongly recommended. (7/10)