Directed by Nilmini Perera/ Reviewed by Biplab Das
What happens when a person gets driven by a thought, or a suspicion, so much that he risked everything. Two Months is the story of such a story. The film is a psychological drama that is entirely built on a claim that may be fictitious. At the end of the short, you may keep guessing about the truth. The short separates itself from any other story on this point. As an audience, you have to keep your options ready. As it seems different people have different opinions after watching the film. Though the issue raised in the movie is less talked about but the short is not about the issue, it’s about the character. Or, to be precise, it’s the protagonist of the film. His character is the focus of the film. His thoughts, suspicion, anxiety, and desperate behavior are the facets of this movie. As an audience, at the end of the film, you will end up thinking about the characters. The short touches the issue of child abuse but at the end of the film it fizzles out.
Directed by Nilmini Perera, the film was inspired by the concept and plot of John Patrick Stanely’s masterpiece, ‘Doubt’. She applied the story from the Sri Lankan perspective. Though the concept is universal, she perfectly has given a Sri Lankan twist into the story. She has been successful in managing the project in just 16 minutes. The protagonist of the film, Prathum, played by Charindra Chandrasena is exceptional in his role as a school teacher. It is his suspicion that leads the story. Shyam Fernando played the role of the headmaster; is exceptional. The way he treated the character is exceptional. Bimsara Premaratna played the role of the mother.
In terms of the story, Two Months is the suspicion and doubt of a schoolmaster who believes one of his students is getting molested by the headmaster of the school. The film is divided into two parts- the first part is the discussion between the headmaster and Prathum, our protagonist, and the second part shows how Prathum tries to convince the mother of the child that her son is getting molested by the headmaster. As mentioned earlier, the central theme of the film is that Prathum, a management graduate from Colombo, an ex-banker, comes to rural Sri Lanka to become a teacher and develops a suspicion. He believes that a 10-year old boy from his class is getting molested by the headmaster of the School Mr. Adhikari. But he doesn’t have any proof. During the conversation with Mr. Adhikari, Prathum loses his cool. Understanding, his problems Mr. Adhikari suggests Prathum go for leave. Prathum ignores his suggestion. Prathum becomes desperate. He finds the child’s mother to tell the molestation story. However, he fails to convince the mother. The mother couldn’t believe Adhikari can do such a thing. Adhikari is a well-respected man in the village. The mother of the child wants just two months to complete and hopes his son gets the scholarship. This makes Prathum angry. He tries everything to convince the mother but fails.
The short mainly talks about the hidden toxic patriarchy in rural areas. Prathum suspicion is like the message to the rural community about their ignorance on the issue of child abuse. The story is a quest for truth which eventually opens the audience to the world of ignorance. The character of Mr. Adhikari signifies power. He holds a good impression on villagers and which is hard to break. On the other hand, the mother character explores the ignorance. She is blinded by the idea that her child will get a scholarship. And Prathum, is caught between power and ignorance. At the end of Two Months, a short but impactful dialog-driven film highlights the psychological gulf between the rural and urban worlds. I give 4 stars out of 5 to Two Months.