Monday, July 30, 2007

Kandukondain Kandukondain (I Found It)

This is my very first Kollywood movie and I have to say that is very different to all the Bollywood movies I have seen. For starters the songs are really beautiful and soft, the language (Tamil) is very fast, do not have the same cinematography values (Bollywood wins) and the dances are different, maybe less spectacular.

This 2000 movie is a contemporary Indian take on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and stars Aishwarya Rai as Meenakshi that in the novel is Marianne Dashwood. Here Aish was not yet a star or she would have gotten the role of Elinor Dashwood that went to another famous Indian actress Tabu. Still there are some scenes where Aish looks outstandingly beautiful and her screen presence is very strong.

The classic story in this movie is set in modern India and tells the tale of a widowed mother and three daughters Saumya and Meenakshi who are grown-up and beautiful and Kamla who is still at school. Is a story of riches to poor to well-being thanks to the young women that succeed in their work, Saumya in computers and Meenakshi as a recording singer with their romance interests having setbacks, but everything ends fine.

Obviously the story does not follow the traditional everything good, then the tragedy, but is a strong drama with good performances Indian style of course.

Even if the dance numbers are less spectacular this movie has very surrealistic dances in the first half, which makes it totally different to what I have seen in Bollywood movies; maybe the nicer is the first dance/song that Aish does that has lots of wardrobe changes and the background dancers wear what it looks like cardboard masks. Also, this movie has songs and dances that move to other countries like Egypt and I think Scotland with no reason at all. I have seen this before in Bollywood movies and is sort of strange.

If I have never seen a Bollywood movie perhaps I could consider the cinematography nice as the movie has some very nice takes, like the pyramids in Egypt or southern India landscapes, but in general the technical aspects of the movie seem less spectacular than what I have seen in Bollywood.

I think that this movie will appeal to Jane Austen fans, Aishwarya fans and those who want to start learning about Kollywood the Tamil language film industry in India that started producing silent movies since 1916. In general, is an easy movie to watch even if is 151 minutes long.

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