In a touching tribute to the cricketing legend Muttiah Muralidaran, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana, the Minister of Transport, Highways, and Mass Media, has announced the granting of special permission to dub the internationally-produced biopic ‘800’ into Sinhala. This remarkable decision was unveiled during a special press conference held in Colombo to unveil the film’s trailer.
‘800,’ a biographical movie based on the life of the cricket superstar Muttiah Muralitharan, is set to hit screens across Sri Lanka on October 6. The film, produced in India, is scheduled for global release in four languages. The production team and company had initially raised concerns about the legal hurdles surrounding the dubbing of the film into Sinhala for the Sri Lankan audience.
Minister Dr. Gunawardhana, recognizing the significance of this endeavor, issued specific instructions to ministry officials, including the Ministry Secretary, to grant special approval for the Sinhala dubbing of the film.
In his address, Minister Dr. Gunawardhana lauded Muttiah Muralitharan as a unique figure who played a pivotal role in shaping Sri Lanka’s history and deemed him a national treasure. He highlighted Muralitharan’s role as an ambassador of national unity, bridging gaps among the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers. Throughout the nation’s history, Muralitharan has been a unifying force, earning the love and respect of the entire Sri Lankan populace, transcending boundaries of race, religion, and caste.
Notably, the film ‘800’ faced legal obstacles under the provisions of the National Film Corporation Act, but with the Minister’s directive, the dubbing into Sinhala has been given the green light.
Directed by M.S. Sripathi, the movie stars veteran actor Madhur Mittal Raja Ratnam in the lead role of Muttiah Muralitharan. The press conference was attended by cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan, former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, actor Raja Ratnam, director Errol Kelly, and representatives of the production team.