Tuesday Tamil ReRun: Kandukondain Kandukondain, Austen in Tamil

If you are an Austen person, and somehow have not seen this movie yet, FIX THAT!!!  It is one of the all time great Austen adaptations, perfectly captures the spirit of the original while moving it to a modern setting.  Plus AR Rahman songs.

Kandukondain was the 3rd Indian film I saw (Lagaan, Rangeela because the movie store guys told my mother it was another Aamir movie, and then KK).  I saw it first at an art theater in Chicago on a Saturday, and then on Sunday I came back to see the other half of their mini-India fest, something called “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge“. I was more excited for KK, because it was a remake of Sense and Sensibility, my favorite Austen novel.  And it was a really good interesting remake, and I had the normal reaction after seeing a film of “huh, good movie, not life changing, but then what movie is?”  And then came back the next day for DDLJ and went “LIFE CHANGING MOVIE!!!!!”  And then got busy changing my life for Shahrukh (redecorating the dorm room, scheduling 4 hours a week for renting and returning movies, altering my friend group to primarily include people who could teach me more about SRK, adding a film studies minor, etc. etc.) and forgot about Kandukondain Kandukondain.  Poor Kandukondain Kandukondain!  And the sad thing is, it’s a really good movie!  If it hadn’t been going up against DDLJ, it would have been an all time favorite for me instead just a “oh, and you’re here too.”  But now I am trying to make up for that and do a post that explains exactly how and why this is such a good film which is worthy of discussion.  And which I am really glad was my first experience of the non-Hindi industries!

One thing I find fascinating looking back on it from my greater heights of knowledge is what a coming together it was of pan-India talents.  Rahman did the music (one of his all time great soundtracks, even in my SRK fog I remembered the songs from this one better than the songs from DDLJ).  Farah did the choreography, I don’t think she has done many southern movies but she did this one.  The two heroines, Aishwarya and Tabu, are both all India talents.  They’ve each done southern films (at the time this was made, I think Aish might have only done southern films?), but Hindi films as well.  Mammootty, one of our heroes, is, well, Mammootty!  All time Malayalam star, also big in the Tamil industry, and dabbled in Hindi.  And Dino Morea is there too!  Being all young and speedo wearing.  I guess the only non-All India star is Ajith?  Who, The Internet is telling me, is a really really big deal in Tamil cinema?  See, if I hadn’t fallen for Shahrukh that weekend, maybe I would have fallen for Ajith and spent the last 13 years of my life obsessing over him and learning everything about Tamil cinema.  He was a better dancer, I noticed that through the Shahrukh love fog too.

But really the movie gets down to one thing, Tabu.  This might be the best role I have ever seen her in.  I haven’t seen a ton of her films, but even if I had, I think it would still be her best role.  It’s always going to be a great role, Elinor Dashwood is a fascinating character, and a special challenge for an actress.  To play someone so repressed and internal that she can’t express her emotions to anyone ever, and yet make sure the audience can still see what those emotions are.  And on top of that to show a very subtle character development from the responsible oldest daughter, to the true head of the household.

Of course, Elinor only works when you see her with Marianne.  And Aishwarya makes a perfect Marianne.  Truly stunningly beautiful, I mean Aish is always beautiful, but 2000 Aish was a special kind of unearthly.  And also strangely childish, in her emotions in her behaviors, in everything.  And in this particular performance, also well supported.  She was dubbed, so the line readings were provided by a different actress (I am sure one of the handful of very busy and experienced Tamil voice actors).  And her character was a singer and a dancer, meaning the majority of her character’s emotional landscape was filled in by Rahman’s music and Farah’s choreography.

Let’s talk about that choreography for a moment.  All of the songs are good, but “Smiyai” is a special kind of amazing.  I can’t believe Rajiv Menon, the director, has only made two movies!  Two GREAT movies, Minsara Kanavu/Sapnay also has brilliant songs in it (including my beloved Gene Kelly/Prabhudeva combo of “Love Is Here to Stay/”Vennilavae”).  But still, to pull of these visual feats on minimal directing experience is incredible.  I know he was Ratnam’s cinematographer (which must be its own special kind of film school), but this goes far beyond cinematography, this is putting together characters and plot and putting them over the top with the visuals.  In a way that isn’t just the choreographer or just the composer, but some special sauce the director has to bring to it. Which is “Smiyai”.  A simple idea, brilliantly executed.

See, Ajith is a director who is in love with Tabu.  They aren’t big fancy film star people, they are a nice couple who has lunch together in the canteen.  But while Ajith is figuring out the song sequence for his film, he starts imagining that he is the hero, and he is dancing with Tabu.  Only, the “real” heroine keeps intruding on his dreams.  And the “real” hero keeps taking his place.  We go from the dreamscape of dancing with Tabu, to the “real”scape of teaching the hero and heroine the moves, to the new kind of dreamscape of the completed set and trained hero and heroine dancing together in the film.  And then we keep hoping back and forth between all three.  In one song it’s an explanation for the “dream factory” of filmmaking, the real dream of being in love, and how the two intersect and are shown on film.  Brilliant!  And also, really really fun!  One of Rahman’s all time great “happy” songs performed in an all time great “happy” way!

In a different film (Jeans, for instance, my second Tamil film) the songs would overwhelm the plot, because they are so so so so so good.  But this plot is also so so so so so good.  I wish Indian film would do more Austen, because the kind of internal relationship based stuff she does is perfect for finding expression in Indian filming styles.  Oh, and it’s all commentary on class and gender and marriage and all that other stuff that Indian film does so well!  However, even if this is the only “real” Austen adaptation we ever get in India (no, I don’t count Bride and Prejudice because I am not INSANE), it might be enough for me.  Because it sets such a high standard of fully understanding the inner meaning of the story, I don’t know if any other film will be able to match that (well, except for my suggestions for Persuasion)

 

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

 

 

 

 

 

Sense and Sensibility was the first Austen book I read to myself, and it is still my favorite.  My mother read us Pride and Prejudice as a family read aloud (when we were really too young to fully appreciate it, 6 and 8 I think), but then years later I decided I wanted to read more Austen all on my own and I got Sense and Sensibility from the library.  I struggled a bit getting into it (it’s the first book Austen wrote, and the opening is a bit ragged), so I started reading it aloud to myself just to keep focused, but after the first couple chapters, I was hooked!  No need for further tricks.

This is the kind of story that is the reason Austen was and is so amazingly popular.  Two sisters, the oldest has always had to be a bit too sensible and practical and hides her feelings from others so they won’t worry.  And the youngest who goes to far in the other direction, glories in her emotions and fantasies.  And the thing is, we all know sisters like this.  Heck, a lot of us ARE sisters like this.  It’s a natural balancing act, one person in the family always has to be sensible and the other always has to be emotional.  Especially with sisters.  “If you aren’t going to say this and feel this, I will feel it for you” and “if you aren’t going to think about this things and take care of these things, I will do them for you”.

(I love this song, Aish/Marianne flirting with Ajith/Edward on behalf of her repressed sister)

But once you are set in that pattern, the “smart” one and the “pretty” one or the “responsible” one and the “fun” one, you start sort of growing into it, until it isn’t just your personality within the family, but the personality you bring with you out into the world and it’s really hard to break from it.  Especially when times are hard and the simplest way to respond is to fall into your established patterns.

That’s what Sense and Sensibility is about, at its heart, the way a family of women headed by two sisters adjusts itself so that the two sisters balance each other.  And how those two sisters have to break free of this balance in order to form their own identities outside of the family, how painful that is.  And how invisible this whole struggle is, because who pays attention to women?  Especially a whole household of women?

All of Austen is about invisible stories.  The conversations you have in bedrooms and kitchens and around breakfast tables.  The things that the men don’t see, that even other women outside the family aren’t told about.  And the gentile poverty that everyone pretends not to see, pretends isn’t a problem because there are no easy solutions for it.

In the original novel, the household of women living on the edge of disaster comes about after the death of their father, and all his property going to his son, their stepson/half-brother and his greedy wife.  The women are kicked out of their home and forced to move to a cottage, living on the charity of a distant relative.  Suddenly Elinor, our older heroine, has to take charge of a very lean household budget and control her devastated by grief mother, and just generally take her father’s place.  And Marianne, our younger heroine, retreats even more to the dreams that are her escape from reality.  The structure of the plot and series of events in the novel is a bit messy (like I said, her first book), the film version streamlines it all and modernizes and Indianizes the situation.  But the essential idea, of a household of women struggling to survive in a man’s world, and the two sisters bearing the brunt of it, that remains.

The novel has 3 stages, a time in the original mansion while they wait for their half-brother to take it over during which the older sister falls in a quiet unspoken kind of love with a quiet unspoken kind of man, a time in the small cottage in the country where rules seem to matter less and the younger sister falls in passionate perfect love with a handsome promising young man, and a time in the city when all of these love affairs come to a head and then fail.  Followed by a happy epilogue after they return to the country where it is all resolved.

This works for Regency England, where there is the line between city and country that moves season by season.  But in modern India, the line between city and country is a bit different.  You can’t go back.  Plus, that whole thing with the love stories happening in sequence instead of simultaneously is confusing.

And so in this film, they are in the country happily living in their grandfather’s house, caring for him as he slowly dies.  In this seemingly secure and happy place, Tabu and Aishwarya both fall in love, Tabu with a young earnest filmmaker Ajith and Aishwarya with the dashing superstar investment banker Abbas.

(Abbas looks so stupid in this song, I am glad he doesn’t get the girl in the end)

But then disaster!  Their grandfather dies, their evil uncle and wife come in and take the house and throw them out.  And they have to move to the city and struggle, and slowly Tabu and Aish both come into their own and learn to get past the simple versions of themselves that they were in the country.  And their love stories shift with them, Tabu’s love deepens into something that makes her willing to sacrifice herself and her own happiness for his, while Aish’s love floats away, not ready to stand up to the realities of life.

There are a lot of metaphors and backstories and things in this film that aren’t in the novel.  But which don’t feel unfaithful to it, they just feel like they are adding a new angle on the same story Austen would always want to tell.  In Regency England, Elinor is “old” and poor.  In India, she is “bad luck”, her arranged marriage fell through when her fiance killed himself.  Either way, the point is the same, all of society sees her as a burden rather than a blessing, and she internalizes this to the point that she is never willing to speak up for herself.

In Regency England, Marianne falls in love with a young man who has great expectations of an inheritance from his wealthy aunt.  In modern India, Aish falls in love with a young man who has a promising chit fund scheme.  In Regency England, he cowardly marries for money after his aunt takes away his inheritance.  In modern India, he marries a politician’s daughter after his chit fund fails in order to pay back his debts.  In either case, the meaning is the same, he could have stood up and fought for his own place in the world, but instead he took the easy way out and traded on his looks and eligibility and gave up the woman he really loved.  Because handsome charming men can’t be trusted (a running theme in Austen’s novels).

Marianne/Aish is essentially the same in Regency England and modern India.  A dreamy beautiful sheltered woman who breaks the bounds of society because she thinks she can and she thinks she is in love.  And then has to suffer not just a broken heart, but regrets for how she threw herself into this love story and invited in the heart break.  There is one big change in this version, after meeting Abbas again in the city and learning that he is marrying another woman without ever planning to tell her, Abbas finds her and offers for her to become his lover. Which absolutely seems like the kind of thing Willoughby would have done, if Austen had been bold enough to write the scene.  However, the point of the scene isn’t that Men-whose-names-start-with-W-are-scum, it’s the reaction it causes within Aish/Marianne.  She suddenly is confronted with how all her “sensibility” and romance and flouting of society is seen by others.  It’s not beautiful and romantic, it looks like she is willing to have an affair with a married man just because they are in love.  That is her turning point, to see the price that comes with an overflow of emotion.

And Tabu/Elinor’s turning point is at the very end, when she has forced herself to say good-bye for ever to the man she loves and just can’t make herself do it.  Sometimes her emotions are so strong, even she can’t control them.

Oh shoot, I forgot Colonel Brandon!  Just accept that he is awesome too.  Not as good as Alan Rickman (the One True Colonel Brandon), but really really close.  And they do a brilliant job of changing him from a shut off dignified older man, to a teasing friendly presence that Aishwarya seemingly ignores entirely, until she doesn’t.  Uff, their final love scene when they come together!  The way Mammootty almost seems to be crouching away from her, hiding from her because he is too scared to accept this happiness.

And finally, my favorite Austen-to-Tamil translation, our shy Edward who just wants to be a minister is turned into Ajith, who just wants to make films.  Because as religion was to Regency England, so are films to Tamil Nadu.

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41 thoughts on “Tuesday Tamil ReRun: Kandukondain Kandukondain, Austen in Tamil

    • Yes! It’s really really really really good. If you watch fast, you can join the discussion on this post. Or I guess even if you watch slowly.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 12:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. This is such a favorite film of mine!! And the funny thing is that I didn’t connect gray haired action star Ajith with young dreamy Ajith of this film at first! I totally agree that Alan Rickman is the one true Colonel Brandon, but I think this is my favorite Mammootty performance. You’re so right about his body language in that final scene, just trying to cringe away from the love that he thinks he doesn’t deserve. Swoon!! Tabu is just perfect, and Aish is such great casting for Marianne. The film score is also some of the best of A. R. Rahman.

    I can’t believe this director had only made the two films! Wow.

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    • His third film is supposed to release this December, after a loooooooooong gap. Challenging, because it will be coming out opposite Zero.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 12:30 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I will never forget year 2000! It was the year Tamil movies really entered my life. Alaipayuthey and then KK. This movie had so much beauty and grace in it. And you’re right, this is one of my favorite Tabu roles. She internalizes so much that people just take her for granted sometimes. Revathi dubbed for her, and I think that really added to her performance. Ash was really good and a big reason is she doesn’t dub for herself Her dialog delivery has always been her weakest link, hence proved.. But honestly all’s forgiven for Kannamoochi, she was breathtakingly gorgeous in that.
    I am going to go rewatch Valli for Ajith this weekend. He was such a good actor until he started this V series, and Mammooty was brilliant as usual. Also very surprised that Dino Morea did well, the only movie where he’s acted well I think. Cannot wait for Rajiv Menon’s next starring GV Prakash.

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    • For Dino Morea, he was also surprisingly good in Solo, he has a small part similar to this film. In fact, so similar that it is believable it might be the same character grown older.

      For Tabu, her physical presence in this film is so uncertain, keeping her head down and speaking softly and hesitant little gestures. With any other actress, it would feel like too much, like she is overacting. And like she is playing it far too fragile. But Tabu successfully conveys a confident competent woman who is just a little shy and cautious around strangers. I love her first scene with Ajith, because right away he is pushing her to take a leap and open up and she does it.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 1:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Hmm I didn’t like that last bit in Solo, and both Deepti Sati and Dino Morea looked like they didn’t fit in. But I forgot the late Sri Vidya who was so great in a role that required her to be frustrated, supportive, encouraging and a little superstitious all at the same time. Really I think every actor was brilliant!

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        • The one actor I didn’t find that impressive was Abbas. Which was fine, because he was given the least interesting role.

          On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 1:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Thank you for suggesting this! I love Austen, and Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite, next to Persuasion, which would make an excellent Indian film! (So very interior..) At first, I couldn’t see Mammootty in the Colonel Brandon role (ah, Alan Rickman) but his portrayal of the earnest lover won me over.

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  4. This morning I thought: Oh today is Kandukondain Kandukondain review day, and suddenly Kannamoochi started playing in my head 🙂 This song is perfection.

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    • Today is indeed Kandukondain Kandukondain day! The soundtrack is how I rediscovered the movie. I saw it that one strange time and forgot about it, and then years later I wanted to buy the Alaipayuthey soundtrack, and I ended up getting a double set with Kandukondain Kandukondain. I loved the songs and didn’t connect them with that movie I had seen years earlier until I finally got around to rewatching it and everything locked into place.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 3:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh I had the same set! But for some really strange reason, they didn’t include the female Kannamoochi and had the male one (??!?). So I went and got a solo CD of KK. I’m sure this is why they do that – remove their most popular song so folks like me go and get the single one lol

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  5. This is one of my favourite movies! Also I love how non judgemental this movie is about women. The women decide where they want to be, who they want to be, when they want to be and how they want to be. Even in terms of music – all of Aish’s songs are about her DEMANDING answers, FORCING things to happen. It’s such a change from ‘Oh you have forsaken me’ blah blah type of songs we get. ‘Enge enathu kavithai’ means …where is my poetry? The poetry that was promised to me.

    Everyone is OUTSTANDING in this film (except Abbas), and I found Mammootty so ridiculously romantic. Great choice?

    Also there is a really cute scene after Aish’s fall, where the nurse forces everyone out of the room when Aish is recovering. She is clearly a malayali speaker speaking Tamil, and Mammootty casually jokes in Malayalam with her about how she was telling everyone to leave now, but yesterday SHE left to sleep. CUTE.

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    • Oh, Mammootty joking with the nurse in Malayali is super cute! I can’t even explain why, it just is.

      Is his character supposed to be Malayali? I couldn’t tell on previous watches. I am sure his accent is good enough that he could play it either way, but I’d like that touch if it is the case.

      And yes to the women getting what they want how they want it! Even Tabu’s resolution at the end, it’s not about Ajith coming for her or anything like that, it’s up to her to decide if she likes him, yes or no. She wanted him so he came, and then she pushed him away and he left. Ajith is the passive one in the romance. Same with Mammootty now that I think about it, he is just there, he doesn’t make a move on Aish until she forces herself on him. And my favorite part, that the women choose to turn down their old home when it is offered to them, they would rather stay in the city and make the life they own themselves than take another hand out.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 4:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think he is supposed to be a malayali, but the accent sometimes seeps into his Tamil. So i am just going to say that maybe he came from Coimbatore (border city to Kerala in Tamil Nadu..only 2 hours from Palakkad) and his parents were Malayali.

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    • Mammootty was indeed a great choice. There is nothing better than good actor doing romantic scenes. The staircase scene with Ash is my all time favourite. It’s really hard to beat it.

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      • He is so good in it, and in general taking this character that could have felt oppressive and unhealthy in his obsession and making him real and caring and perfect.

        On Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 2:16 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Ahh the lovely Kandukondein Kandukondein. Initially when this movie came out, I didn’t watch it for the longest time because I was busy watching Alaipayuthey for the 4th or 5th time in theater. Plus Aishwarya Rai’s presence was a big put off. Still the songs playing in TV was so catchy that all of us friends finally decided to give Maddy a break & try Ajith(we had decided his stubble & glances for Tabu in Kannamoochi & Smaiyayi would be worth). But the movie turned out to be so good & Ash was good too. So many lovely scenes. From the ‘Sutrum Vizhi Choodava Kannamma’ bit(a friend later translated the Bharatiyaar poetry-tendered beautifully by singer Hariharan), to the scene where the girls refuse to take back the keys to the ancestral house after their uncle’s death. Tabu says a great dialogue-the prospective grooms should look at us(our worth)& not the house. Such an empowering dialogue in 2000 when women empowerment was yet to take off.There are also subtle mocks on many societal stupidities like a woman considered unlucky because she’s not married even if she has achieved so much & taken care of her family like a man would, the car showroom people divulging contact information of a customer because they are scared of divine retribution, that it would be a son who would take care in the old age etc. I also loved Pooja Batra’s action heroine who cries secretly upon getting hurt during the shoot.
    Coming out of the movie, we were all insanely jealous of Shalini-as if romancing dreamy Maddy in Alaipayuthey wasn’t enough, she had to marry dreamy Ajith in real life.
    Did u recognise the actress playing the youngest sister?

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    • I did not recognize the younger sister, but then I am the one person who doesn’t cry at Anjali 🙂 I just looked her up, looks like this was her last child role before she tried to come back as an adult.

      I am also insanely jealous of Shalini!!!! She gets to be in all these strong interesting romance heroine roles, and then marry a real life hero? I had no idea who Ajith was, or any of the actors really, the first few times I saw this film. But even so, I knew that Ajith = A million times more attractive than Abbas. Mammootty looked insanely old to me (I was only 19 when I first saw the movie), but he still won me over with his performance. Now, rewatching it and having seen many more Mammootty films, he looks so young!

      Oh, and I forgot about Pooja Batra! She makes such an impact in a little role, I actually recognized her when I saw her in another movie just from this little cameo.

      On Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 11:14 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Shalini was one of the rare popular child actors who transformed into heroine roles (like Sridevi). You should also watch Amarkalam casting both Ajith and Shalini.

        Abbas was a sensation with his debut film Kadhal Desam also starring Vineeth (dancer in Chandramukhi) and Tabu with sensational music from ARR. Many kids tried to imitate his hair-styling. He later fizzed out.

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  7. I just rewatched this last night. I saw it in vhs/dvd maybe 1-2 years after it came out, so this is my second viewing. Last time I was really impressed with the song sequences – the sets, locations, choreo, dancing, music. This time I paid more attention to the story, acting, etc.

    Tabu is really good, as usual. I love the scene when she is crying on her terrace after she realizes it isn’t a marriage proposal but a request to use the house for filming. Her desolation feels so real, even more so than in the final scene.

    Ajith is a cutie and a charmer without being smarmy. How could anyone not fall in love with him. He’s like that exbf that you still remember fondly and nostalgically and hope he’s happy in life now.

    I love Aish in this. Of course I grade her on her own curve, but her spry Masala acting style works well for this role. As a dancer myself, I prefer Madhuri’s grounded graceful style – which makes every dance look easier than it is – over Aish’s gleeful jumpy bouncy style – which just feels like she puts a little too much energy into every move. But the songs work with her dancing style, so it’s enjoyable.

    Manmooty on the final staircase scene is perfection, and he’s good throughout the movie. I just can’t get past the age diff though. Aish IRL might have been 25ish, but she looks 17-19 in this movie, Meanwhile Manmooty looks 45ish. It just looks like father and underage daughter and just creeps me out.

    It’s weird that they opened with the war scene, because it makes you think you are going to watch a serious war film, which is outfitting if you were looking for a romance. Instead it could have been shown in flashback, it simply addressed in dialog. Oh, but I think it goes to your twenty minute theory, I.e. first twenty minutes should be something that you can miss without it affecting your viewing experience, since desis arrive late or get popcorn. Nowadays with reserved recliner seating plus 15+ minutes of trailers, I regularly arrive 15-25 minutes late lol.

    Enjoyable rewarding watch overall, and I agree with all the other commenters above, esp about the way the women move through their world, it’s even relevant now.

    Re Austen adaptations, hasn’t there also been an adaptation of Emma in Indian film?

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    • There was Aisha with Sonam, that was officially a remake of Emma (although it felt a lot more like a remake of Clueless). Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are the ones I really miss, I don’t think there’s been an official remake of either yet. Although I could be missing something.

      This film was so clearly influenced by Ang Lee and Emma Thompson’s vision of the characters, and yet still added something new. Ajith and Tabu and Mammootty are almost completely different characters on the surface while still maintaining their core identities (Tabu as the strong quiet one, Ajith as the gentle kind man, Mammootty as the ex-soldier who is struggling to return to regular life and overcome his heartbreak). I like the change of removing the complicated Mammootty/Abbas backstory, it also helps to keep the film firmly focused on the women. Mammootty and Abbas in this don’t even directly interact I think.

      What saves the Mammootty/Aish romance for me is the second staircase scene. The first one is beautiful, but the second when she is nagging him about carrying too much and he is snapping back reassures you that it will end up being a marriage of equals.

      On Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 10:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Also Aish and Madhuri have different training in dancing. Kathak (Madhuri) is an inherently different art form than Bharatnatyam (Aishwarya). Kathak is usually known as the more ‘gentle’ and more ‘graceful’ dance, whereas Bharatnatyam is supposed to be a lot more energetic, with heavy Abhinaya(might be where her masala style acting comes from) and very aerobic movements. Since this movie is set in Tamil Nadu, it would make more sense to have Aish’s acrobatic movements than Madhuri’s. This is also very clear to see in Dola re Dola – Madhuri’s movements are much more flowy whereas Aish’s movements are much more precise.

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  8. I love this movie. Everytime I watch it, I love it some more. Like someone mentioned here, year 2000 was just so good Alaipayuthe and KK both with Rahman’s evergreen music.
    As a huge fan of Austen, I was looking forward to KK but I loved how Rajeev Menon adapted it too. The poetry lovers Aish and Abbas, use of that Bhartiyaar poem Suttum vizhi thaar used as a bg song while he picks her up and takes her home. I disliked him of course, eventually but you could understand her infatuation.
    Tabu and Ajith were my favorite. Tabu so so so good. I love how her mother keeps cursing her (no i dont love that) about being unlucky but she’s the one who holds it all together, gets a job way below her qualification then gets promoted because she’s that good. This lovely guy pursues her and they have a good relationship because she deserves it, he loves her foe who she is. Even the final decision is her choice, he;s just there hoping for the best.
    I really liked Mammotty’s character, his love for Ash but also being guarded about his feelings, unsure of himself in only that aspect.
    Overall I just love how it is the women’s struggle and eventual survival.

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    • I love your description of Mammootty as unsure of himself in only that aspect. That is one thing that feels so accurate to the age of his character. He isn’t shy about offering help to the family or making friends with them. There is none of the uncertainty about life in general that Ajith shows, debating between this choice and that choice. He is too old for that. But in romance, that is where he isn’t sure.

      On Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 11:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. Its currently 4:15am in Los Angeles. I was involved in a car accident which left me in the hospital for a month; doing better and thanks for the DCIB cards. My dad even asked me if it was sent by a secret admirer lolz. I wasnt able to transfer this year due to the accident, so the DCIB club will have to wait one more year *sigh. Goodbye UC San Diego
    I apologize for being inactive here and insta. I will get back to it ASAP. Back to the movie.
    I loved it!!! I have honestly never been in love with Mammooty till now. What a performance. It was my first time watching this movie and I was in anticipation all throughout. I lowkey thought tabu would end up with her boss but I am so glad it was with Ajith. Everyone was soooooo good!!!
    The songs were amazing. Mammooty was so good. Why can’t he do amazing roles like this in Malayalam.
    The whole interaction between him and the malayalam nurse was so good. You can distinguish the Tamil accent in his malayalam. This is what remakes should be; adapted to the individual culture. Amazing review!!
    Also love the upcoming review features and can’t wait to discuss Kannathil Muthamittal. I brought it on YouTube because the hospital wifi was too slow for eintusan. Lol #dedication
    It’s good to be back

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, that’s terrible!!!!!!! I am glad my movie recommendations are giving you a nice distraction. And that you are getting the cards.

      I lowkey thought Tabu would end up with her boss too! I don’t know what they put in the performance, because there wasn’t anything explicit in the script, but he just seemed kind of teasing and like he liked her a bit in a non-boss way.

      What struck me about Mammootty in this versus the Malayalam stuff I’ve seen him in is that he was willing to be weak. It wasn’t just that he had the leg injury, he was awkward and insecure and didn’t think he deserved Aish, very non-hero kind of things. Maybe his Malayalam fans wouldn’t stand for a movie where he is crippled and old and overlooked? Or maybe he just felt more free as an artist in an industry where he was less known?

      I can’t wait to discuss Kannathil either! I am soooooooooo tempted to post the review early. But no, that would be wrong, there might be people planning to watch it over the weekend. Oh, and check out Lakshya too if you can! It’s on Amazon, prime and for rent.

      And so glad to have you back! Now, stop getting in emergency medical situations and ending up in the hospital!

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      • Aw! Thank you, I will try. It was a freeway brawl because the truck did not want me right of way, and the truck brushed my car and send me flying. Lots of physical therapy coming up on my right leg.

        You are so right. He was weak and insecure and picked a movie with a female emphasis. He tried sorta with Munnarippu but omg. I am such a mammooty fan now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, that is my nightmare! I hate changing lanes, I always think I am going to get side-swiped.

          I kind of liked him in Bhaskar the Rascal, but it wasn’t nearly as good as this one. I’ve seen him in a bunch of really good movies from the 80s-90s where he played gray characters, and a bunch of so-so recent movies, but nothing like this film again.

          Oh, you should check out Minsara Kanavu/Sapnay too i fyou haven’t yet, same director and all that.

          Like

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