Like veracious, I found myself instantly reminded of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham by the title of this 2009 Telugu film, which translated means almost the same thing: Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Sorrow. However, KIKK owes nothing to the former except its title, because unlike that ode to the patriarchal machinations of a dysfunctional family, the southern movie really is all about loving your parents.
Meet Tamanna, who plays Geetha, the heroine. (I know, it's usually spelled Geeta, but that's the way the subtitles had it so I'm just going with that.) She is absolutely adorable. Geetha is also adorable. The movie opens with her telling the story of her bond with her father Subramanyam (played by Nasser), which is quite strong--so strong that she's added his name to her own. Subramanyam is several villages'... headman, I guess? What would you call it? Anyway, he runs the place, and Geetha runs him. When Geetha's high school is finished, he sends her off to Hyderabad for her higher education. At first, she refuses to leave him, but when he appeals to her to set a good example for the rest of the village about schooling girls--leaving the decision up to her--she agrees and heads off to the big city, and her uncle's house.
Meet the worst haircut in the history of styling, as worn by the also-adorable Siddharth, who plays Siddhu. It might seem impossible to ruin the boy's good looks, and in fact it is, but this hairdo and lack of facial hair come as close as they can. It doesn't really matter, though, once you get past the initial shock. Siddhu is a lady's man, and follows the usual pattern of using all the same lines on a succession of stupid girls who fall for his games. Geetha overhears him hitting on another girl in a mall dressing room before they're introduced through her cousin, who is a friend of Siddhu's.
At first, and second and third, glance, Siddhu seems pretty worthless, alternating between hyperactive buoyancy and stylized seduction. Geetha doesn't want to give him the time of day, but her cousin and other friends keep insisting that Siddhu's not as bad as she thinks. Eventually, he proves them right, and the two become friends, and then things follow the usual pattern...
Right down to the expected objection on the part of her father. You see, Siddhu's parents (played by Prakash
Siddhu and Geetha persist, however, and so her father sets them an impossible task: reunite Siddhu's parents.
And that takes us a little past Interval, so I'd better stop there.
I love this movie. I re-watched it to prepare for this post, since it'd been six months since my first viewing, and I fell in love with it all over again. I'd watch Siddharth read the Yellow Pages, which is a good thing since he's basically phoning it in, but having him on the line beats a face-to-face with plenty of other actors. Siddhu is difficult to like in the first 20 minutes we see him, but the viewer warms to him along with Geetha until he's as irresistible as ever.
Tamanna is, as I said, adorable, and it's nice to have a story primarily told from the heroine's point of view. Geetha's strong, but she's not rebellious or "spunky," and her love for her father is only equaled by her love for Siddhu.
I could have done without her mother's traditional subservience and father's "hush, woman!" relationship with her, but at least Geetha broke that mold. Siddhu's parents' relationship was much better drawn, with a lot more depth. This is the second Indian film I've seen, I think, where a protagonist's parents are separated, and in both of them there seems to be very little real reason for it (like, "he cheated on me chronically and I got sick of it," would be a good reason, "he was never home" might not be). It seems odd.
And then there's the comedy track, which involves a cricket fanatic who's also Geetha's uncle, played by my Least Favorite Brahmanandam, as well as a secondary comedy track with Siddhu's best friend trying to get lucky with some unfortunate woman. I kept the fast-forward button handy for those moments. The friendships between Geetha, Siddhu, and their gang were well done, although of course they all disappear in the second half.
The production values are great. The colors are beautiful. The soundtrack's a perfect Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy mix. All in all, there's very little not to like, and plenty to love. If you're looking for a sweet romantic comedy, Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam is worth every penny.
Edited to add: This is my 100th post! I'd like to thank the cast and crew, my wonderful family, and all those whose backs I stepped on ruthlessly to attain this fantastic moment. Why are you guys playing music already? I'm not done yet!