Jul 18, 2023
Yureni Noshika, Madhushanka Nuwan
The writer-director Akash Sunethkumara and his team believe in utilising the concept of cinema therapy to heal and be a better version of oneself to face the future challenges in life. Sunethkumara also aims to raise awareness about the various issues that women are forced to suffer in silence just like Vihara (Yureni Noshika) in the film.
The plot of the short film revolves around Vihara a Sri Lankan woman in her thirties who sits in therapy and peels back the layers of her marriage revealing the traumatic events that have had a far deeper impact on her reality than she realises.
Teddy Opens with a series of flashbacks from the past life of the central character Vihara along with a loud screaming sound to provide context to the audience as the filmmakers establish the subject matter of the dramatic piece. The narrative of the film takes a form of a one-to-one interview to build an emotional connection of the viewers with Vihara making the content realistic and relatable. A combination of greyish-black colour palette with a hint of colour followed by dim lighting, set design, dialogues, costume, hair, and makeup have been kept simple to complement the intense topic the movie highlights giving the audience a chance to learn from it.
In terms of performance, Yureni Noshika plays Vihara who has to go through a lot of physical as well as emotional abuse due to a loveless and bad marriage. Noshika understands the nuances of the female protagonist and can bring out the vulnerable side of Vihara necessary to communicate the key messages Teddy wants to deliver to the audience.
Madhushanka Nuwan plays Kevin the husband of Vihara who believes in showcasing his might on his wife when he does not get his wishes fulfilled. Nuwan through his brilliant acting skills manages to evoke the desired reaction the creative team wanted for Kevin from the viewers.
Teddy talks about the need to stand against the social evil of domestic violence making women feel safe and cared for in a marriage set-up. The thriller discusses the bad effects of marital rape and unwanted pregnancies can have on the lady’s mental framework along with her loved ones. The short film reiterates the importance of taking a crucial decision like a wedding after a lot of contemplation and with the approval of the elders so that no one is forced to regret it later. The cinematic piece tells its audience that everyone has to be strong and fight for their rights especially when it comes to their survival and gradually heal themselves allowing a ray of hope into their lives making the situation better for themselves and the people around them. The creative piece restates that women should not give up on their dreams at any cost because society tends to not consider people significant until and unless they prove their worth.
To Conclude, I would like to appreciate Akash Sunethkumara for highlighting the underlying problems faced by women because of the strict laws concerning abortion