Gaadi (Sinhala: ගාඩි) is a 2019 Sri Lankan Sinhala historical road film directed by Prasanna Vithanage, one of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Sri Lanka. The film is co-produced as a Sri Lankan-Indian joint production by H.D. Premasiri, Sandya Salgado for Film Island, Prasanna Vithanage Productions and Alan McAlex and Ajay Rai for Mumbai-based Jar Pictures, an Indian motion picture production company.
The film stars Sajitha Anthony with debut actress Dinara Punchihewa in lead roles along with Shyam Fernando and Ravindra Randeniya. The music is composed by K (Krishna Kumar), who also worked with Vithanage on his previous film With You Without You (2012). The cinematography is done by Rajeev Ravi, who is known for his work in Indian films such as Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Dev.D (2009) and Udta Punjab (2016). The editing is done by A. Sreekar Prasad, who has won eight National Film Awards in India.
The film is set in 1814, during the last days of the Kandyan Kingdom, which was under threat from British colonialism. The story revolves around the journey of Tikiri (Punchihewa), a young noblewoman who was stripped from her caste and forcibly married to an outcast named Vijaya (Anthony) by the king as a punishment for her father’s rebellion. Together, they embark on a perilous journey across the country to find refuge and freedom.
The film explores themes such as caste oppression, gender discrimination, colonialism and resistance through a historical lens. The film also showcases the rich culture and landscape of Sri Lanka during that era. The film was shot on location in various parts of Sri Lanka such as Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla.
The film premiered on 8 October 2019 at the 24th Busan International Film Festival amidst stellar reviews. It was also screened at various other international film festivals such as I South Asian Film Festival – San Francisco, Kerala International Film Festival, Pune International Film Festival, Dhaka International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Vesoul International Film Festival. The film has been selected one of the 100 Asian films that audiences should watch by International Film Festival 2019.
The film has also won several awards such as Special Jury Award at Dhaka International Film Festival and Emerald Dove Award at Independent Film Festival of Chennai. The film has received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, cinematography and music.
Gaadi Sinhala Movie is a must-watch for anyone who loves historical dramas or road films. It is a powerful and poignant story that depicts the struggle and resilience of two individuals who defy their fate and society’s norms. It is also a tribute to Sri Lanka’s history and culture that deserves to be seen and appreciated.