I’m back with my blog’s favorite feature- double Features!
For those who don’t know, this feature on my blog will explore two works of art- be it a movie, book or what not that has uncanny similarities between them but at the same time are entirely different. I’ve made some interesting feature posts in the past- which you can see if you click this link.
Now if you are confused on to the theme of this feature- it’s basically a store where the lead character is lost and don’t know what to do, when they receive help from a very unlikely person- a dead relative’s ghost. Now this premise might make it seem like it’s horror but no it most definitely is not. These two stories are more humor based, but with a good plot built in as it’s foundation.
The two works that this post is based on is first- a Malayalam movie called “Koode” and then a novel by Sophie Kinsella called “Twenties Girl”
So here goes –
Koode (Trans. “Together” )
Country of origin : India
Language : Malayalam
Direction and Screenplay : Anjali Menon
Story : Sachin Kundalkur
Based on : Happy Journey by Sachin Kundalkur
Starring : Prithiviraj Sukumaran, Nazriya Nazim, Parvathy
Music : M Jayachandran and Raghu Dixit
Released : 14 July 2018
Duration : 2 hours and 35 minutes
Genre : Psychological, Drama, Humor, Romance
The film opens with Joshua (Prithiviraj) working in a factory in Dubai. He receives a call from his family back in India that informs his that his younger sister Jenny has died.
A very sombre and expressionless Joshua arrives for his sister’s funeral and quietly participates in it.
We have a flashback to when his mother was pregnant with Jennie and the family’s happy times together as he pets and takes care of his dear baby sister. In fact it was Joshua who names his sister, Jennifer.
But it’s later found that Jenny suffers from a congenital disease, and is not expected to live long. With the growing expenses of the medicines, Joshua drops out of school and works with his father in the workshop. He eventually leaves for Dubai with his uncle an in the particular scene where he is leaving, a hint of sexual abuse towards Joshua is also indicated.
Joshua requests his father for a vehicle and his father gives the vehicle they used as Jennie’s ambulance. After a drive, Joshua sees a dream where Jennie is alive in the van. He goes to inspect the van and finds Jennie . She informs him that only she can see and hear her and the two start to spend more time together.
Jennie slowly finds more truths behind why Joshua is the dark shell of a person he is today, and helps him grow out of it, and find new meaning in life- including a chance meet up with his childhood friend, Sophie who is facing domestic violence amongst other things in her troubled marriage.
Now the theme of the movie is not THAT complicated. In fact it’s a theme that is often adapted in different ways, especially into movies depending on how the plot is formed. Koode however sets itself apart from a cute brother-sister bond, that due to the problems they met in life, had ended up being a tense and distant relationship.
Jennie helping Joshua out from his shell and accepting himself more, and showing him that there is more to life, is a definite breath of fresh air and a reminder to us all that life is indeed short, and we must make the most of it.
The movie had a good balance between both Jennie’s and Joshua’s story as both had their unique form of story behind their lives. Unlike a lot of these kinds of films, where the ghost or person helps uncover some big revelation, that didn’t happen in Koode. It was simple and subtle, and straightforward in that way.
As far as characters go, Parvathy’s role wasn’t well defined, and sometimes confusing as to what was really happening with her. With very little screen time on Sophie excluding the romantic getaway with Joshua which was filmed as a song sequence, you could even say up to a point the character wasn’t even required, until the protagonist had the plot move onto his romantic ventures. But one good thing that was highlighted in Parvathy’s character was that the final base for Joshua in breaking out of his shell was probably in the marriage of him to Sophie.
This was an excellent comeback from Nazriya as the character of Jennifer was one that is in her element abd was executed with ease, with no hiccups. She was able to balance the childishness and the maturity of a character like Jennifer, who had faced the end of her life at a very young age.
I definitely loved the music where I’d like to highlight these two tracks – Koode where Jennie cheerfully tells Joshua to loosen up and enjoy life because we are meant to die anyway and Paranne an upbeat song that perfectly highlights the cheerful mood behind Jennie’s life despite her battle with her illness.
Overall would I suggest this movie? You bet I would. It’s a light hearted watch where you can have an introspection into “am I living my life to its fullest?”
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Author : Sophie Kinsella
Country of origin : United Kingdom
Language : English
Published : 16 July 2009
The story revolves around Lara, a 27 year old. Her head Hunter business is struggling as her partner has gotten together with a guy in Goa, she’s not able to meet ends meet financially and can’t reveal anything to her parents fearing they might suffer a heart attack. Worst of all, the love of her life, Josh has dumped her.
She is forced by her parents to join in the funeral of her aunt, Sadie Lancaster, who died at the age of 120. What’s worse is there uncle Bill Lington and his family would be there. Bill, has a multi million dollar coffee franchise and has just released a book on his success where he started his business from two little coins. He’s even set to have a movie made on the same.
However as she sits for the funeral, she sees a girl who only she can see. She then realises that she is none other than the 20 year old version of her dead aunt. In one crazy moment she stops the funeral stating her aunt was murdered. The ghost Sadie has only one request- to retrieve a beloved dragonfly necklace of hers without which she cannot rest. Lara initially thinks she has gone nuts, bit finds her life engulfed by the Charleston enjoying ghost and finds there’s more to the necklace as she uncovers some history and moves onto a new chapter in her life.
This too seems quite similar to the movie. One Stark difference would be that the revelations made during the journey with Sadie are quite impactful to the whole world of the lead character , not just the plot. The impact behind their actions was truly not even thought of even in the slightest, at least by me anyways. Which is why amongst the vast novels I have read of Sophie Kinsella this books would be the #1 book I recommend.
This book also helped in a small way, to explore the times in the twenties from a place that I couldn’t have maybe heard of otherwise. Be it the dance, the way they dressed or did their makeup, or anything at all, it was definitely a page-turner.
Now that I’ve shared my double feature on the two plots where dead relatives to come back and save the day for the protagonist, what do you think of these two stories,? Do you know any more works of art based on similar themes? Let me know in the comments below!