If Boodee, for that matter anybody, says that it is a war film, I start my comment as “an utter failure”. Not knowing the effective range of a hand grenade, (that is why he let some characters play with hand grenades like children playing crackers) Boodee will take some more years to make a war film. However, like many novelists, poets and cinema directors in the world have done, if he wanted to tell the people that war is nothing but a mechanism of degrading human values, yes, Boodee had been successful.
Boodee has been trying to capture cinematically the human drama that took place in the thirty long years of Sri Lankan war. It highlights some of the real incidents that took place and how innocent people both Sinhala, Tamil & Muslim were affected by it. The director perhaps wanted to stress out how deadly it is to give a weapon to a child and train him to kill a man.
Although a majority of the two hours of running time of the film is spent to show the fighting the war against terrorism based on the largest humanitarian rescue in recent history, a sleek love story is also being run throughout the film.
Parwathi one time is a hunter and another time is being hunted. She boldly says, “I am going to gain Eelam”. She did not join the ‘boys’ to gain Elam but did want to prevent his younger brother being captured by the terrorists. The new actress plays her role well and proves that she can act tough scenes as well as love scenes. The parents of Parwathi have contributed their best by being so natural.
Maathaa shows us that behind every incident in the war time, was a fear. Behind every fear was a weapon. Behind every weapon was a man. Behind that man was nothing but politics. The decisions of his politics were taken based only on blood and bullets. Events of the lives of people were changing so quick that no person can stick to one policy or principle. In one moment a terrorist decides to surrender to the government forces but changes his decision suddenly when his partner dies from an attack. Nasty happenings were everywhere but Boodee lets us know that there were love and humanity too in between these happenings.
Forgetting his Canadian nationality, Stephan Philipson seems to have has felt the pulse of people of Si Lanka and that of Boodee, in editing the film in a commendable way. The roar of firing throughout the film did not allow viewers to lend their ears to background music. However, the soft music played when Yoga and Parwathi were in love was touching. The vocal music played at the end based on a Hindusthani Raaga too was good.
Mother in French is maman. In Spanish it is madre. In Latin it is mater and in Hindi it is Ma. Both in Sinhala and Tamil it is amma. Look at the similarity of these words. If Boodee’s film Maatha is talking of mother land, yes, Sri Lanka is our Maathaa no matter who we are Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or any other. If the film is talking about motherhood, Maathaa deserves the respect of all the human beings who are sons and daughters of all mothers.