Trippin' With the Kandasamys

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Maeshni Naicker and Jailoshini Naidoo.
Maeshni Naicker and Jailoshini Naidoo.
Photo: Netflix


Trippin' With the Kandasamys




3/5 Stars


To rekindle their marriages, best friends-turned-in-laws Shanthi and Jennifer plan a couples' getaway. But it comes with all kinds of surprises.


Whenever I see characters and their stories on screen that I, in some way or another, feel as though I can relate to, the film I'm watching just has so much more heart for me. This is the case with every one of the movies in the hilarious Kandasamy film franchise – and I'm happy to report Trippin' with the Kandasamys is no different.

The third film sees Jennifer (Jailoshini Naidoo) and Shanti (Maeshni Naicker) plan a couples' getaway to reignite the spark in their respective relationships, only to find that their husbands have invited the entire family along as a special surprise. An eight-sleeper? Never mind that. "For Indians, you double the number," Aya (Mariam Bassa), Jen's mother-in-law who also comes along for the trip, tells them. Chaos ensues as the two best friends try desperately to turn the family vacation into a couples' retreat at the San Lameer resort on the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. And things only get worse when Shanti's younger, gorgeous sister-in-law, Baby, makes a surprise appearance as well.

As is the case with all the Kandasamy films, director Jayan Moodley does an excellent job of balancing comedy and drama in her storytelling. She highlights all too familiar stereotypes within the Indian community in a way that provides commentary and yet, has you laughing at your pain and suffering. Was I crying with laughter every time Shanti had to get up to make a cup of tea and fry samoosas for her husband or was I simply just crying? We'll never know. But I will say I could relate to it all; there's something oddly comforting about seeing reflections of the more frustrating aspects of your life in a lighter, humorous way on screen.

Of course, these scenes are nothing without the comedic stylings of Naidoo and Naicker as best friends Jennifer and Shanti. Though the two give strong individual dramatic performances, they shine together on screen when they're scheming and hiding behind bushes scaring poor Baby. This is their film, and the duo is unstoppable with Jayan Moodley behind the camera. In an interview with Channel24, she praises her "powerhouse" leads. "We see their power; we feel their power this time around. Particularly, bringing together the comedy and the drama," she says, as she speaks of the undeniable theme of women empowerment in the third film.

It was also a treat to see Mariam Bassa return as Aya, this time as an ally to Jen and Shanti, but still delivering those sharp one-liners. To Preggie's 30 Seconds clue for the song, Love Is All Around being the lyrics "I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes" she answered "arthritis" – and I was howling.

Madhushan Singh, Mishqah Parthiephal, Yugan Naidoo and Koobeshen Naidoo also return in their respective roles to anchor the central theme of marriage and the different challenges we go through at various stages of marriage. This ties the story together nicely and allows for those more dramatic and heart-rending moments. It's a universal theme I think many will relate to, albeit predictable and perhaps overly dramatic, as the film reaches its climax.

That said, you almost don't mind the predictability in a film like this, where it's more about enjoying the many ups and downs of one often dysfunctional family that still manages to come together. And what better way to wrap it all up than with a huge Bollywood number at the end.

I enjoyed every second of Trippin' with the Kandasamys; roaring with laughter made up for its few faults. From one incredible comedic duo to a gambling grandmother's unexpected wit and wisdom, take a trip with the Kandasamys once more because there's so much to love about this film.


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