The second movie jinx doesn't seem to have affected Rajiv Menon. Kandukonden Kandukonden
is both more substantial and more enjoyable than his first effort Minsaara Kanavu. An
Indianised version of the Hollywood movie Sense and Sensibility, KK has been
skilfully adapted to the Indian milieu. The movie is an entertaining mix of melodious music,
nice photography and eye-catching locales and above all, has a cast to die for.
The movie revolves around two sisters and the three men who impact their lives. The two sisters
are Sowmya(Tabu) and Meenakshi(Aishwarya Rai). The elder, Sowmya, is a pragmatic woman who is
resigned to her fate of being considered a jinxed woman. Meenakshi, on the other hand, is filled with
dreams, predominant among them being that of a white knight(well-versed in Bharatiyar's works) who is
going to sweep her off her feet. They live with their mother(Srividya), younger sister Kamala(Shamili) and
their grandfather, who is on his deathbed.
Into their lives enter three men, each completely different from the other.
Manohar(Ajith) an aspiring director falls for Sowmya but will wed her only after achieving his
dream of directing his own film. Major Bala(Mammootty), an ex-commando, is a man who is
disappointed at the way he has been treated by his country and has turned to the bottle to give vent to his
frustrations. But his view of the world is softened by Meenakshi
and he develops feelings for her. But she falls for Srikanth(Abbas), who runs a finance
company and shares her liking for Bharatiyar. The women's relationships with these three men
continues as they traverse the highs and lows of life.
The movie is basically a treat for your eyes and ears. The camera feasts on several
picturesque locations, especially during the well-crafted song sequences and A.R.Rehman once
again comes up with a hit soundtrack. Enna Solla Pogiraai... is the pick of the
lot with its catchy tune and glorious picturisation among the pyramids of Egypt. Konjum
Mainaakkale..., which has Aishwarya Rai dancing among group dancers wearing a variety of masks,
is another that benefits from a colorful picturisation. Smaiyai..., Kannaamoochi
Enadaa... and Kandukonden Kandukonden... are also melodious and pleasing to hear.
But the movie would have failed if had been all style and no substance. Granted the storyline is
threadbare and lifted from an English movie but
when seen as a character study rather than a traditional story, the movie can claim reasonable
success. The major players in the movie are well-defined. More importantly, we come to understand them
and sympathise with them. Tabu's role is the best of the lot and with a good performance, she shares
equal credit for the character growing on
us. Mammootty's character is next. From the initial world-weariness to developing affection for
Aishwarya to stepping back when he realises her liking for Abbas, the character moves us while
at the same time, making us laugh. Ajith charms us alongwith Tabu with his moves on her. But not all
the characters in the movie are interesting. Shamili has nothing to do and is an unnecessary character.
It is a mixed bag as far the romances are concerned with the director striking the right note with
two of the three romances. The romance between Ajith and Tabu is down-to-earth and charming. Their
first encounter and their meeting at the railway gate are especially cute. The way their final
meeting mirrors their first (with Ajith on the ground and Tabu in the balcony) is a nice touch by
the director. Similarly, Mammootty's
revelation of his romance to Manivannan, his realization of Abbas' chances over his own and his
dignified behavior from then onwards add gloss to his character. But the romance between Aishwarya
Rai and Abbas seems too cinematic and is rather flat and uninteresting.
Ajith will keep his fan base intact with his performance here. It is basically a combination of
his usual lover-boy role and the role of the struggling astist from Mugavari .
Mammootty's expressions evoke laughs at many places. Abbas is adequate.
Aishwarya Rai looks great and the camera spends a lot of time feasting on her beauty. She proves
to be a good actress too in the scene where she barks at Mammooty for misunderstanding their
relationship. Tabu is fantastic and the way she sobs, when Ajith sees her as an unlucky woman,
touches our heart. Raghuvaran and Manivannan stand out among the huge cast of supporting actors.
The huge cast, a hit soundtrack and numerous false alarms about the release date all served to
attach a huge amount of hype to this movie. Fortunately, Rajiv Menon has not disappointed.