Film Review: Kandukondain Kandukondain
Film: Kandukondain Kandukondain
Starring: Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Mamoothy,
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.