Friday, June 22, 2007

Film Review: Kandukondain Kandukondain

Film: Kandukondain Kandukondain
Language: Tamil
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Mamoothy,
Ajit, Abbas
Director: Rajiv Menon

My exposure to Tamil cinema hasn’t been great but I recently got an opportunity to see two well-known films. One, a very popular entertainer, Kandukondain Kandukondain (I Found it!) and another ‘revered’ Mani Ratnam film, Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck On the Cheek).
The first one, a clever and inspired adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense And Sensibility, is pure delight with some mesmerizing songs and superlative performances.
Adaptations look easy but they never are – look at the mess Gurinder Chaddha made with another Austen classic, Pride And Prejudice. In that sense, director Rajiv Menon achieves the near impossible – he retains the essence and moral of the original while adapting it convincingly in a Tamil milieu.
While there’s nothing really to fault the screenplay here, it is the performances that raise the film several notches higher. Aishwarya Rai, as the fiery, talented and hopeless romantic, is outstanding. Ditto Tabu, who plays her part of a restrained, practical elder sister, with great understanding. The other male leads (Ajith and Abaas) are competent but for me, the scene-stealer was Mamooty, as the middle-aged, disabled Major with a heart of gold.
What is truly commendable here is that Rajiv Menon has demonstrated a perfect understanding of Sense And Sensibility, not missing out on a single nuance.
The resolution and the point that leads to it are wonderfully scripted. In Austen’s classic, the younger sister adapts to her changed circumstance and curbs some of her impulsive, fiery spirit, realizing that love need not necessarily be about passion!
On the other hand, Tabu, who has always been more controlled, learns to let go and give in to the dictates of her heart – just like Austen’s character in the original.
In that sense, both sisters re-adjust their attitudes towards love –-- that is the crux of the story and Menon gets that absolutely right.
This review cannot end without a mention of the awe-inspiring music by A R Rahman. Every song is a sheer wonder and sends the heart into raptures. On the whole, what can I say? This is how a good Tamil entertainer should be made.

-Sandhya Iyer


Blogger janaki said...

Did u find a vcd/ dvd in pune ? where ? i need one or copy one frm yrs. i saw it 4 to 5 yrs back in the theatres. Brilliant film.

July 2, 2007 at 1:23 AM  
Anonymous Rodrigo said...

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July 3, 2007 at 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Melvina said...

People should read this.

November 10, 2008 at 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Gumka said...

Good review Sandy. The Mamooty/Ash scene in the stairway when Ash lets him know her feeling is what I remember vividly. Can you pls review Mozhi?

November 20, 2009 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes - please do review Mozhi - another gem.

But for a change - I agree with every word on this review :-)

This is one of those timeless Tamil classics - have seen it 4 times and yearning for more..
One of those movies that rev ur mood up - plus how about kannamuchi yennada kanna.... - ash has never looked more beautiful. She isnt my fav person and dont think much of her as an actress - but wow - this movie made me totally fall in love with her character..

super review - i think you should stick to reviewing non mani rathnam tamil movies :-)

April 20, 2010 at 9:50 AM  
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