First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a Kandasamy baby in a carriage.
It’s been just under a week since the much anticipated fourth instalment of the “Kandasamys” franchise, “Kandasamys: The Baby” released on Netflix and watching the film has been a bumpy ride.
If you’ve watched the previous instalments, “Keeping Up With The Kandasamys” (2017), “Kandasamys: The Wedding” (2019) and “Trippin' with the Kandasamys” (2021), then you’ve come to expect the same delightful comedy that turns into a meaningful dramedy.
Instead, “Kandasamys: The Baby”, much to my disappointment, is filled with dry one-liners, a storyline that feels disjointed and little about the baby.
This time, the film is shot in Mauritius and South Africa.
Prishen (Madhushan Singh) and Jodi (Mishqah Parthiephal) have immigrated there. Jodi is pregnant and the meddling mothers, Jennifer (Jailoshini Naidoo) and Shanti (Maeshni Naicker), who is Prishen’s mother) can’t wait to be grandparents.
Excited as ever, they make their way to the beautiful Mauritius where they plan to spend every second of their time with their grandchild, but they are quickly stopped in their tracks.
Prishen and Jodi send their family off to a five-star hotel, with a packed itinerary that basically leaves them with no time to spend with their granddaughter.
But, as we’ve come to know, Jennifer and Shanti will stop at nothing to get their way. And so the plotting and scheming begins.
Their husbands, Elvis (Koobeshan Naidoo) and Preggie (Yugan Naidoo) are working against their wives, to give the new parents some time alone with their newborn.
As for Aya (Mariam Bassa), she remains the star of the film from beginning to end, let’s say her once witty humour lost its allure, leaving me a tad tired of the much-loved character.
Aside from the flat comedy, two important issues were raised. The first was post-partum depression. After giving birth, Jodi doesn’t feel like she wants to be a mother anymore, nor is she bonding with her newborn.
The film opens up this conversation that is rarely talked about in society despite so many new mothers going though it.
Jodi doesn’t do justice to the part. She remains silent for most of the film, going by mainly facial expressions.
Back home in Chatsworth, Prishen’s younger brother, Desan (Vashir Kemraj), has been suspended from school, pending an investigation into bullying.
At first, Shanti thinks Desan is the one being bullied but when a video is released, it is evident that Desan is bullying the other kids.
Later it is revealed that he is acting out because he is angry and tired of always being “compared” to his big brother.
For most of the film, “Kandasamys: The Baby” gives you a sense that the best parts are still to come, until you reach the end and are left feeling like there should have been more, much, much more.
Despite the numerous negative reviews, many people have enjoyed the film, faults and all.
In its opening weekend, “Kandasamys: The Baby” was among the top 10 worldwide releases in 13 countries including South Africa, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, UAE, Kenya and Sri Lanka.
“Kandasamys” have become a household name and, despite the storyline, fans will always return to keep up with their favourite characters. For that reason, the film franchise will always succeed.