The following post about the Koombiyo television series contains spoilers.
An action-packed television series with continuous thrills, twists, politics and drama. Koombiyo (The Ants) has set the Sri Lankan TV show arena on fire with a gigantic stride. Sri Lankan TV channels have not been used to a genre in this nature, which is why many local TV stations rejected the drama series initially.
Finally, in 2017, the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka, also known as ITN, agreed to telecast Koombiyo, five years after initial production began, and two years after production completed in 2015. The fact that the main protagonist of the series is a con-artist, engaged in controversial, fraudulent, and at times criminal activities, was the biggest barrier that kept television stations from accepting the series.
However, the way the show gained critical acclaim, how it became a trending topic within social media and office lunch tables, and the way corporate entities tried to associate their brand with Koombiyo related activity is proof that Sri Lankan television was in dire need for a change, for a show that would gain popularity in international standards.
It is no surprise that The Ants TV Series holds the number one spot among highest rated Crime TV Series in IMDb rankings.
Watch Koombiyo Online
The producers of The Ants TV show have been generous in sharing high-quality versions of each Koombiyo episode through YouTube. This helped the show not only reach newer audiences who missed the initial episodes, but also gain rapid popularity among all TV shows in Sri Lanka. Proceed to YouTube to watch Koombiyo online.
A specialty about Koombiyo was that amateur actors with no affiliations to other prominent TV shows played leading roles. Jehan Fernando, the main protagonist of the show, was played by Thumindu Dodantenna, while his partner in crime, Priyantha Mahaulpathagama, was played by Kalana Gunasekara. Former Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World Yureni Noshika played the character of Hiruni, Jehan’s love interest in the show.
Senaka Titus Anthony and Andrew Pulle played the roles of Austin Mudalali and Tiran respectively as Jehan’s long-term companions. Peter D’Almeida played the role of Opposition Leader Dudley Maldeniya, and W. Jayasiri played the role of the Opposition Leader’s Secretary. Parakrama Jayasinghe played the role of the strong leader of the left-wing political party, while Nishantha Priyadarshana fulfilled the role of a member of the same party.
Shakya Holdings was another element of the Koombiyo TV show, and the characters within this fictional organization were played by Bandula Sooriyabandara (Shakya Jayawardana), Lakshman Mendis (Dissanayake), and Buddika Jayarathna (Saliya).
Apart from Thumindu Dodantenna, who played a revolutionary role as the main protagonist Jehan Fernando, critical praise also came in for Peter D’Almeida, who represented the character of Dudley Maldeniya, the mastermind and commissioner of the main storyline within the show.
Koombiyo Plot Summary (Spoiler Alert)
Jehan Fernando is a 35 year-old bachelor who tries to exploit the loopholes of the law in order to made a living. He is associated with Austin Mudalali and Tiran, who are occasional supporters of Jehan. Jehan recruits Priyantha Mahaulpathgama for assistance in his business venture: Purchasing Lanka International. The duo try their hand at a vegetable business and a magazine publication, but only for external issues to hinder those projects.
The political aspect of the show begins when Jehan is given a contract to silence a newspaper reporter who is trying to destroy the reputation of the Opposition Leader Maldeniya. Jehan succeeds in this venture, and is approached by a left-wing political party that is looking to penetrate Shakya Holdings, a business organization with Government ties, in order to hinder the Government’s credibility.
Jehan executes a large-scale plan to bring disrepute to Shakya Holdings, and in the process, succeeds in fulfilling the wishes of the left-wing party. However, complications within the execution, as well as the death of an employee during a protest march, leaves Jehan isolated, as Priyantha becomes a prominent member of the political party.
Austin Mudalali’s figurative empire also falls apart, and investigations into his gang’s activities leads Jehan to a two-year prison sentence. After serving his sentence, Jehan is reunited with Priyantha, after which details about the former’s four-year plan with the Opposition Leader Maldeniya start to emerge. It is revealed that all the activities Jehan carried out, starting from Purchasing Lanka International, were all part of a political plan to create a bridge between Maldeniya’s party and the left-wing party, in order to bring both these groups together and enable Maldeniya to be the next Prime Minister of Sri Lanka at the next General Elections through majority power within the Parliament.
Koombiyo: A Review
It is easy to say that Koombiyo is a great production overall, but diving deep into it would bring out all the more reasons as to why this has been a game-changer. The script could be considered as phenomenal, given how all plotlines interconnect with each other, and how all loose-ends are tied up towards the end of the show. Lakmal Darmarathna and Damitha Chandrasiri need to be applauded for the story that they have come up with, which laid a strong foundation for Koombiyo to flourish.
The Director of the show, Lakmal Darmarathna, should also be commended for the way he has converted the paper script into reality. The scenes, settings, props and cinematography have lived up to the standards set by internationally acclaimed TV shows. The Director has also succeeded in bringing out the best out of the actors, which was another pillar of success.
For a good plot story to actually drive shock waves, the cast needs to be on point, and this is what the Koombiyo actors have been able to do. Each person had a good understanding about their role and character, and contributed immensely in making the show a success. Koombiyo has been doing the rounds on social media for many weeks, and the talk of the town is that it is the best Sri Lankan TV show thus far.
In terms of shortcomings and areas for improvement, it could be said that the last few episodes had too much of talking and explaining, mainly to showcase to the audience the master plan of Jehan. While these explanations were important, it slightly diluted the intensity within the latter episodes, with the level of action and interest not keeping up with the initial parts of the show.
It could also be noted that the master plan of Jehan unravelled only towards the end of the show, which begs the question if it was all rushed towards the end, or if the producers actually had this plot and ending in place from the beginning. Hints of Jehan’s four-year plan with Maldeniya from the beginning of the show would have made the latter episodes easier to grasp.
One hopes that this is just the beginning for Sri Lankan TV. The Koombiyo group has taken a giant stride, and it is up to the other producers and TV channels to follow suit. It should also be noted that the benchmark, as well as the expectations of the Sri Lankan TV watcher is now at a high level, which means that upcoming TV shows have no other option but to keep up.