‘Second Show’ a foundation for borderless cinema | Sunday Observer

‘Second Show’ a foundation for borderless cinema

19 June, 2022

The collaboration between Sri Lanka and India the film industry is a much awaited anticipation of both the countries. Now that wish has come true.

An action thriller film ‘Second Show’ co-produced by India and Sri Lanka is set to be released worldwide on June 23, with screening in 100 countries.

A massive collaboration

The movie is written and directed by Indian director A.T. Gnanam, and the co-production is by a leading distributor of Bollywood films in Sri Lanka Koushalya Wickramasinghe and Indian film distributor Mahadevan Ganesh, both are on behalf of the Indian company Dark Room Creations.

Popular Sri Lankan film star Hemal Ranasinghe acts in the movie as the lead role, while Indian actress Pallavi Subhash plays the female lead and Hemal’s on-screen love interest - Pallavi Subhash is not an alien to the Sinhala cinema audience, she was the character Yashodhara in the famous Sinhala movie ‘Bimba Devi alias Yashodhara’ directed by veteran Sri Lankan film-maker Sunil Ariyaratne.

Entirely filmed in England, ‘Second Show’ is a massive project with a Rs. 80 million budget. What makes it so unique is that the movie is to be screened in both Sinhala and Tamil. In the Tamil remake, Bollywood film fare award-winning actor Ajmal Ameer plays the main male role.

The Sinhala dialogues are written by film director Thisara Imbulana.

The movie also features songs in both Sinhala and Tamil. The Sinhala lyrics were composed by Kasun Heenatigala, and the songs were sung by many local musicians such as Kasun Kalhara, Uresha Ravihari, Kushani Sandareka, Dinendra Bandara, and Kavindi Gunawardena.

In this backdrop, the pre-release trailer for the film as well as the launch of the songs in the movie was premiered recently at an event held at Cinnamon Lakeside. Many esteemed actors, actresses, and personalities in the ‘Second Show’ and in the film industry at large were presented on this occasion, and shared their experiences, the support they received from the co-stars, and what the audience could expect from the movie.

Views of the co-producer

Speaking at the event, co-producer Koushalya Wickramasinghe said that the project came to her by pure chance. She said that during the release of the incredibly popular ‘Vishwaroopam 2’ by Kamal Haasan, she took the role of Sri Lankan distributor while at the time Mahadevan Ganesh was the worldwide distributor.

Ganesh said that Wickramasinghe’s rarity as a woman in the industry prompted him to meet her. He had already recognised her initiative and aptitude to hold her own in what remains a male-dominated industry. After meeting Ganesh in Tamil Nadu, ‘Second Show,’ a bilingual production, was soon conceptualised.

In making the movie, Wickramasinghe collaborated closely with Ganesh on casting, suggesting leading Sri Lankan actors to collaborate with.

The actor Hemal Ranasinghe was Wickramasinghe’s own recommendation. “Hemal does a fantastic job in this film,” she said, “It is a challenging role – he has a dual role and must also play it in both Tamil and Sinhalese and he delivers a great performance. He trained in Tamil and perfected his accent to give a marvelous performance.”

Hemal Ranasinghe and Pallavi Subhash

Sharing his thoughts Hemal Ranasinghe said: “First and foremost, I must express my gratitude to Koushalya for bringing me into this project and also for attracting such a collaboration to Sri Lanka especially during this particularly difficult time.”

Then, he shared his experience of working on the film, especially considering the unique nature of the production. “The language usage and behavioural patterns in India are incredibly different to that of our own and the same goes for the way that we as Sri Lankans express ourselves.” Ranasinghe said that it took a deep understanding to correctly portray these two different identities.

“In such a production, we are essentially filming two films at the same time – in the same shot we must capture the nuances of two different cultures. It is definitely a challenge,” he said, adding however that it was all made possible thanks to the incredible teamwork that was present during the entire production.

Hemal Ranasinghe also described how incredibly significant it was for Sri Lanka to have been granted the opportunity to work so closely with India, the giant of the movie business in the world.

He also said that while his mother tongue was Sinhala, he took great efforts to emote accurately in the Tamil language. He implored the audience to watch the Tamil film first and then to watch the Sinhalese film to observe the nuances in them.

In his talk, Ranasinghe was especially thankful to his co-star Pallavi Subhash. “There was much to learn and the support I received from my co-star was remarkable. I learned a lot from her,” he said, adding: “She gave me great support to portray my character and I don’t have words to describe how amazing she is on set.”

Similarly, Pallavi Subhash also expressed her gratitude towards her co-star and especially to Wickramasinghe for giving her the opportunity to take part in this project. “Hemal is very kind and selfless, and I had a very good experience working with him. He guided me with my Sinhalese so I thank him for being there,” she said.

Subhash also recounted her bonding with Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne while filming ‘Yashodhara.’ She said that she was able to develop a deep, honest, and emotional relationship with him in the filming of that character and was still in the zone of the character, having learned a great deal from that experience.

According to her the character she portrayed for the present movie was a challenging role. However, she is convinced of her acting in the movie. “I hope people will love this film,” she said.

In the meantime Pallavi Subhash also spoke about her stay in Sri Lanka this time. She arrived in Sri Lanka on May 18, and within a few days she fell in love with the country.


As with all the other fields, ‘Second Show’ was also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Though the filming of the movie was completed in October 2019, due to the pandemic, it remained in post-production for nearly two-and-a-half years. So it is with that sort of delay that ‘Second Show’ is ready to be shown in theatres both locally and internationally on June 23.

‘Second Show’ is certainly a bridge between Indian and Sri Lankan cinema. With local musicians and actors collaborating with their foreign counterparts, this will open many more potential avenues.

As the co-producer Wickramasinghe said at the pre-trailer launch event, their collaboration had already opened up more doors and other avenues for Sinhala cinema to grow and flourish internationally.

According to Wickramasinghe, there is also a second production of this movie which she would be working on – a similar collaboration with India – a potential Sinhalese and Hindi language film again starring Ranasinghe as well as Sri Lankan actor Ashan Dias.

In this way, it is a great news to hear for Sri Lankan audiences at this difficult time. Certainly, our audience can look forward to experience a more elevated and completed cinematic experience from these collaborations.