August 06, 2006

Kandukondain Kandukondain - get your Jane Austen together

I´ve never read Jane Austen. Oh, I own some of her books but I´ve never got myself to actually read one. It just didn´t grab my attention long enough to get into it. But thanks to cinema there is no shortage in movie adaptions so I´m at least able to join disussions about the characters and storylines without making a complete fool out of myself.
Its actually weird that I never got into the whole Brontée sisters, Austen thingy. Their books are perfect masala material. The changes of charakter´s backstories or storylines have to be minimal to fit it into "the masala scheme"









So what sets this apart from the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version? Duh! Obviously its set in rural Tamil Nandu and Chennai (interesting sidenote: all the characters refer to Chennai as Madras) and its placed in present times. It also has the beautiful music of A.R.Rahman.









For all those who, as I, have not read Sense and Sensibilty, here a short breakdown of this Tamil version:
Widowed mother of three lives in house of very sick father and takes care of everthing with the help of her 2 older daughters (Aish and Tabu) One day Nana dies and leaves everything to "before-dads-death-never-had-the-decency-to-show-up" son and greedy wife. So Mum and daughters get mobbed out of the house. Not a too big problem wouldn´t the two sort of fiancées of the sisters get a grip on their life. Tabus guy, an actually really nice aspiring movie director forgets everything around him due to trouble with his first feature and stupid "we get married when I´m a made man" attitude. Aish´s beau is a stockbroker who goes broke with his chitfund (chitfunds have a sort of negative image in movies hai-naa? look BaB) and whines a lot. I don´t like him. But not all is lost as Aish has also caught the interest of Major Bala. From the outside not the perfect match. Mid-fourties. War veteran who lost a leg. Very grumpy. But heart of gold. Digs music. Has orchid farm.









And performs sort of an guardian angel function for the family with an emphasis on Aish´s career as singer. So after the granddad´s will disaster and ensuite heavy drama not all is well but teek hai thanx to the gutsy daughters and the Major. Until the second wave of drama rolls in and it gets highly dramatic right until the end.








Kandukondain Kandukondain (there has to be a short cut for that. Velu? Any idea?) is easily my favorite Jane Austen adaption. Even my beloved BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejustice with Colin Firth has to come in later now. Dehko naa!!

16 comments:

Beth said...

I am soooo happy you like this. It's one of my very most favorites. It is funny and gorgeous and sexy and wonderful. Except the guy who plays Willoughby, who was such a dull dumb dud (although maybe he's supposed to be, although book Willoughby sure isn't). I have always loved Eleanor Dashwood and am pretty sure that if I were a Jane Austen character I would be her (despite the name in common with Ms. Bennet), and Tabu does her so well.

By the way, I often refer to this as Kandukondain x 2, but that's as short as I can work it. Here in the US it's risky to put two Ks together because people will think you got lazy in making a reference to something altogether different.

michael said...

great aish, greater tabu :)(
thanks for some tamil review :)

Totally Basmatic said...

READ JANE AUSTEN.

I'm sorry, I just couldn't control my inner English major.

Maja said...

I second TB!

I haven't seen this yet but I really want to, it's been on my list since I read about it on Beth's blog. I love the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee movie (yay Alan Rickman). And the BBC Pride and Prejudice as well - Kanduetc (I so can't spell this) has to be really good if you liked it even better than P&P!

Also, sort of on topic, I just watched Bride & Prejudice again last night and spotted a hand-painted KKHH poster in it for the first time :)

Nanndini said...

(man darf ja auch auf deutsch, ne?) Ich dachte eigentlich immer die BBC Version mit Colin Firth kennt ausser mir im deutschsprachigen Raum keiner und bin immer wieder erstaunt, dass es nicht so ist. Ich liebe diese Serie und hab sie unzählige Male schon gesehen und finde sie immer noch die beste Version. (Hab zwar sonst nur Bride&Prejudice und die neue Version mit Kira N. gesehen)Aber.... du motivierst mich dass dieser Film mein zweiter Tamil Film sein soll, denn ich sehe. Werde heute beim Tamil Händler mal danach Ausschau halten....

babasko said...

@nanndini: sure fire away in german. i´ll answer in english though if you don´t mind ;-)

my tamil or for that any southern indian cinema knowledge is so far veeeery limited but what attracts me the most in the movies i´ve seen so far is that special kind of elegance and - its hard to put in words - subtle realness. so a perfect setting for jane austen...

@TB, Maja: i´ve read othello before I went into omkara. does that count for something?

@beth: i know that feeling. here nobody dares to laugh about the (hitler parody) jailor in sholay for fear of being misunderstood

V N said...

Thats the only movie, repeat ONLY movie, that I have found Ash worth watching for a while. Honest. But even in this one, though she looked sooo much out of the world, in terms of looks, i preferred Tabu who lent all that she had to her role with a dignified ease. :)
And Mammootty, who plays Major Bala is the biggest star down south. Hes from Kerala, a 4 time National Award Winner for Best Actor and is the backbone of the Malayalam film industry that produces some of the best films in India!

LOL... regrading the title, kandukondein kandukondein, the title is as romantic as one possibly could ever get! :)

I loved the songs as well.. especially the wonderfully wonderful Kannammoochi Eneda???

:)

Maja said...

What does the title mean?

babasko said...

i think something like "I have found it" but since i cant read tamil i´m at loss for a "lyrical context" translation.

V N said...

roughly translated it wud amount to something like - I have found (my beloved, in this case)!

:)

Beth said...

I also reeeeeally like Ajith. I think he may the only moustachioed man in the entire world that I find attractive.

Sach said...

Addhaange' . Macchi!! Super!! how did you learn Thamizh.?? kandu konden is a beautiful movie. Rajiv menons picturisation. Every body performed so well in the movie. im right now downloading it from tamilblood the website. After the download is done i can watch it all i want .hehe.. Did you watch Rythm its also a tamil movie. and is a good movie. U'd surely love it.

Michelle said...

Just so you know...It was rereleased in the states with new english subtitles (that are much clearer than the original) and it was released under the name "I have found it (Kandukondain Kandukondain)"

babasko said...

hmm, i wonder if the ayngaran one that i have already has those new subtitles. i don´t remember having any complaints about the subtitles watching it...

Fatima said...

Anyone know where I can find the subtitles to this greatmovie ?

Jai said...

hey,

Kandukondain Kandukondain roughly translates 'I have found it' (actually in context of pure pleasure of finding true love here)...

The reason characters refer to Madras is that, Chennai was called/named 'Madras' till recently. Only in the start of this new millenium they decided to change the offical name to Chennai. Even i am used to calling it as madras (my dad's birthplace)