Review: Keeping Up With The Kandasamys
4.0Overall Score

The funniest South African comedy in years.

Starring: Jailoshini Naidoo and Maeshni Naicker

Plot: Set in Chatsworth, the film opens a window into the lifestyle and subculture of modern-day Indian South Africans; their aspirations, dreams and challenges. The film stars Jailoshini Naidoo and Maeshni Naicker as the matriarchal rivals of neighbouring families, whose young adult children become romantically involved, and despite their best efforts to keep them apart, they are forced to acknowledge that love will always prevail. When Jennifer realises her beautiful tomboy daughter, Jodi, is in love with Shanti’s son Prishen, she is determined to break them up. But in order to do that she will have to enlist her rival’s help.

Remarks: I am so proud of the quality of films South Africa is producing and while we’ve had the romantic comedy, drama and even war genres covered, we haven’t seen a quality comedy film in a very long time – until now. Keeping Up With The Kandasamys is a hilarious adventure which will have you laughing from start to finish.

Jailoshini Naidoo and Maeshni Naicker are fantastic lead actors. Their chemistry is fantastic and although a bit too rude to each other at times, they did a fantastic job living up to a rivalry that has lasted decades. The two actresses are so different to each other and each was required to step outside of their comfort zone to bring their characters to life.

While the story isn’t the strongest (it’s practically a Romeo and Juliet adaption with a local twist), the script totally makes up for it. The film is well-written and not only does it keep the viewer entertained from start to finish, but it’s incredibly funny as well. In fact, I found myself laughing throughout the entire movie.

The supporting cast also did their best to bring the story to life. Mariam Bassa, who plays Jennifer’s elderly, no-nonsense, ever-critical mother-in-law, stole the show in my opinion. I couldn’t wait to watch her next scene and had quite a few cringe-worthy moments that had me rolling with laughter.

Despite being one of the best comedys out of South Africa, the film has a lot of heart as well. Ultimately, this is a story of forgiveness, a story about love and a story about family and how each element is so important to live a happy life.

I also loved learning more about the Indian culture. From the traditions to the food, music, clothing and lifestyle, the film gave viewers an insight into their modern-day living which I really enjoyed. Oh, and don’t for one second think this film is geared only to Indians. It’s a film every South African should see! In fact, filmmaker, Jayan Moodley sums it up best. “This film has something for everyone,” she says. “The universal story of neighbourhood rivalry, our desperate need for acceptance and the climb for perceived societal success, is something which touches everyone the world over. At the end of the day, we can all recognise our quirks and weaknesses and the funny side of the weird, wonderful and strangely competitive world we live.”

Sure, these was some dodgy acting and shaky camera work at times but Keeping Up With The Kandasamys ticked all the right boxes. I highly recommend watching this film. I haven’t enjoyed a comedy (local or international) this much in a very long time.

Rating: 4/5

Keeping Up With The Kandasamys releases on the 3rd of March 2017.

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