Nandha kills his father in the confusion that follows when his mother discovers her husband's philandering. Nandha is packed off to juvenile prison, leaving behind his deaf and dumb mother ... See full summary »
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Story of two brothers told from the perspective of older brother who recalls his childhood memories where he runs away from home and returns after 20 years. The rest of the film is all ... See full summary »
Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is transplanted to contemporary Tamil-speaking India. Serious elder sister Sowmya falls in love with aspiring film director Manohar. Passionate younger sister Meenakshi is admired from afar by wounded commando Captain Bala, but her young heart is set on Srikanth, a businessman who shares her fondness for poetry. More complications arise when the sisters' grandfather passes away, and they loose their place in the family home. Written by
That Jane Austen's novel "Sense and Sensibility" is a terrific piece of literature goes without saying. Ang Lee adapted Austen's story for his film of the same name. The film won Lee accolades for his ability to portray the relationships that Austen weaves with finesse. Seven seas across from Hollywood, Indian filmmaker "whizkid" Rajiv Menon has created a second, and an even better visual adaptation of Austen's book. "Kandukondain Kandukondain" is simply an enthralling and enchanting adaptation of a great piece of literature.
While he borrows the basic plotline from Austen's novel, Menon changes and adds to numerous portions of the story. Setting it in contemporary, modern Indian society, Menon gives the film a more identifiable and consumable quality than Lee's version. The principal characters of the two sisters, played by Tabu and Aishwarya Rai are a notable diversion from the conventional nature of female characters in Indian cinema. These are strong, determined, and capable women. Unlike the norm of female characters in many Indian films, these women do not have an obsession with love. It is just an integral part of their life which the film focusses on. Rajiv Menon's ability to handle the relationship between the characters of the two sisters and the men who come into their lives and leave, is highly impressive. While Ang Lee did a commendable job in his treatment of the relationships, one could not identify or even feel for the character because the nature and society in which they were set were too distant. In "Kandukondain Kandukondain," the characters are real. They are one of us, we are one of them.
Menon has added a lot more material to the plot in order to increase the film's saleability. However, what sets this film as a class apart is the fact that the addition of "masala" as Indian film industry auteurs like to say it, does not interfere with the artistry of the film. Menon uses the conventional technique of mass-hybridization and creates an amazingly entertaining, yet fulfilling, "feel-good" film.
A.R. Rahman, the musical genius, adorns Menon's film with some exceptional music. The songs are simply wonderful with Vairamuthu's lyrics drawing inspiration from the poems of Bharathi, perhaps one of the most prominent personalities in the history of Tamil literature. Bharathi's poems also form an intricate link in the story that is used as a catalyst to build relationships. This artistic, and poetic feel is something that not only Lee's adaptation lacked, but even the original work by Austen.
The cinematography by Ravi K. Chandran is breathtaking. The extensive use of color stands out, but never gets too loud to be replusive. The color combinations are very pleasant and used effectively to create meaning within every shot of the film. The sets during songs like "Kannamoochie" seem to involve numerous characteristics of modern three dimensional abstract art. The remaining songs are picturized on locations in 70 MM CINEMASCOPE from the rice fields and waterfalls of South India to the pyramids of Egypt and the castles of Scotland.
The film boasts exceptional performances from both Tabu and Aishwarya Rai. Mammootty is the pick of the lot with his highly sensitive, and underplayed performance as Major Bala. Ajit, Manivannan, and Srividya are very competent. On the whole, "Kandukondain Kandukondain" is a masterpiece of Indian cinema because of its ability to wholesomely entertain with a lot of intelligence, sense, and sensibility.
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