The ambition of Sri Lanka’s first LGBT film is staggering; it is no wonder that Frangipani is occasionally overpowered.

The film’s complexity is regrettably controverted by an underdeveloped, sporadically unclear and sometimes unoriginal screenplay, even as it breaks new ground.  Its poignancy is further undercut by a heavy-handed soundtrack.

Nonetheless, do not dismiss this film. Visakesa Chandrasekaram has conceived a diverse, compassionate and thought-provoking story about sexuality and identity. The committed cast do well to fulfil the extensive emotional promise. Yet it is the cinematography that is exceptional. Each scene is beautifully lit and composed, and inundated with unspoken meaning.

This is a promising and trailblazing debut most notable for Kularuwan Gamage’s striking cinematography. Fraught with tension and sensuality, Frangipani is a tasteful film that is worth watching.



CAST: Dasun Pathirana, Jehan Srikanth Appuhami, Yasodha Rasanduni

DIRECTOR: Visakesa Chandrasekaram

WRITER: Visakesa Chandrasekaram

SYNOPSIS: Frangipani tells the story of a fraught love triangle engrossed in immense social pressures. Beautiful, wealthy and headstrong Sarasi (Rasanduni) is in pursuit of Chamath (Pathirana), a young man who yearns for freedom, wanting him to rescue her from an arranged marriage. Yet when a mechanic named Nalin (Appuhami) arrives, Chamath sets Sarasi aside, who then turns her affections to Nalin as well.

BFI Flare continues until this Sunday (29/03/2015). Visit for the complete film schedule and tickets.