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Kandukondain Kandukondain: The Indian Film Industry takes on Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged…that Jane Austen’s works must be popular wherever they are found. While her works have been translated into many languages across the world, it is only the recent films that have made her a household name, with even small children familiar with her characters and plots. It’s no surprise, then, that Bollywood, the nickname given to the Indian film industry (“B” for Bombay) – should begin producing it’s own Austen inspired films. The Indian film industry is huge, producing up to 800 movies a year – twice as many as Hollywood – important since about 14 million Indian people go to the cinema everyday. With that kind of demand, English language films are often the inspiration for these grand musicals. Yes, musicals. Packed with color, comedy (though sometimes inadvertant) and lavish musical numbers, these films are like none produced anywhere else. In 2000, a modernized version of Sense and Sensibility was produced, entitled Kandukondain Kandukondain. The film (in Tamil with English subtitles) follows two sisters after the death of their father. When their stepbrother and sister-in-law force them from their family home, they are left to find work in the big city to care for their mother and younger sister. The pretty middle sister, though unlucky in love at first (ah! The schemeing and unworthy stockbroker who breaks her heart!) finally finds romance with an older soldier who is a friend of the family. The oldest sister, while it seems hopeless at first, at last

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