MOTOR BICYCLE – A movie for all Sri Lankans

Synopsis: Rangana (played by Dasun Pathirana) is an aspiring young musician who belongs to the working class society and who has the ultimate goal of rising above his station doing what he can do best; music. He plays till late night in a low rent bar and very soon realizes the need of a proper transportation. He pawns his mother’s (played by Veena Jayakodi) necklace and buys a second hand motor bicycle amidst of his mother’s protest. After he buys the motor bicycle he is filled with ecstasy and plans to spend the day with the love of his life Tanya (played by Samanali Fonseka).But a surprising turn of events does not make his day joyful as planned as it would be. The movie ends with a shocking and a sad tragic leaving us the viewers with a lot to think about.

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Motor bicycle; a movie filled with drama, and most importantly depicts the ugly truth of a particular class of the society which is mostly ignored and looked away.
In a way life for them is like a motor bicycle. Why? Because for them the life doesn’t start at the moment they want it to start.

“Ira payanava, Davasa udavenava….hetath udawenava”

A caption from a song in the movie where in few words they say that “It is life, and it goes on.”

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Here Rangana acts as a representation of the youth of this society, yet he has no difference than any other youth, he has a dream, a motivation. He doesn’t give up his music that easily even though he doesn’t earn enough money. He is guided by passion and love: like most of the youth. Yet, his real dream is to spend his life with the woman he loves. Which unfortunately is cut short . By the conclusion of the movie, he is suffering from a blowing breakup,and a memory of a day filled with obstacles which he spent with Tanya.

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The breakup is a shocking twist in the tale and very much sad and unexpected. It is representative of the social norms of Sri Lanka that makes one an eligible bachelor.

“Kasada badina hama kenatama isthira rassavak thiyenna oneda? Geyak thiyenna oneda? Job ekak thiyenna oneda?”
(“Does everyone who wishes to marry should have a permanent job? And a house to live?)

The conservative, and traditional side of mine will say yes,like many like minded locals this answer was given from the part of the brain where I was trained to give answers from.” This should be like this, this has to be this way, and this way cannot be changed” it goes on and on and on….it is surprising to figure out that we no more think of “why is it this way? Why can’t we change it? It could be that way…” “Why not a man trying to achieve than a man who has it all already?” Nobody dares to change it or even question anymore. The movie ‘motor bicycle’ in a very subtle yet effective way depicts this beautiful theme.

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Image Credit: Cinema.lk

We also should note the effective use of symbolism in the movie. At a certain point in the movie an ant who tries to climb up on a wall is captured while Rangana composes his music. The similarity of the struggle of both parties are beautifully portrayed in this scenario. Also Rangana and Tanya’s day out cannot be defined as a successful one. It was a one with too many obstacles, which is relatable for many lovers in Sri Lanka. Starting with the park security to the motor bicycle that does not kick start; the lovers are forced to move from one place to another through physical obstacles and sometimes emotional obstacles. This foreshadows the climax of the movie; the breakup. Because once they are finally together in peace, the greatest obstacle occurs: the social status.


Depicting realism and truth with use of effective symbolism, words and pictures, “Motor bicycle” has proved to be an effective and golden artwork depicting the reality of the society which makes this movie truly “a movie for all Sri Lankans”.

So kudos to the movie makers and I give the Motor Bicycle 4 Popcorns out of 5. It’s a movie you should see at the theatre.

  • Director: Shameera Rangana Naotunna
  • Producer: Suranga Jayasuriya
  • Cast: Dasun Pathirana, Samanali Fonseka, Veena Jayakodi, Dharmapriya Dias, Mahendra Perera, Priyantha Sirikumara, Dimuthu Chinthaka,Priyantha Lalith,Dayadeva Edirisingha.
  • Running time: 124 minutes
  • Awards: NETPAC award for best Sri Lankan film – IFFCOLOMBO 2015.
    Genre: Drama feature

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Written by Imashi Perera

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For me life is just three words Lights.Camera.Action.

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