I watched I Have Found It for my first item for the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge hosted by Austenprose. I Have Found It is a Kollywood (Tamil speaking cousin of Bollywood) film loosely based on Sense and Sensibility.
Two sisters, Sowmya and Meenakshi help their mother care for their ailing grandfather. Sowmya would love to get married, but it is rumored that she is “cursed” as her former fiancé came back from America dead. Sowmya places duty and family above love, but Meenakshi dreams of finding a romantic “white knight” to marry. Sowmya finds herself falling n love with Manohar, an aspiring filmmaker who returns her love. Manohar is an engineer, but he doesn’t want to go into the family business or marry Sowmya until he has made his first film.
Major Bala is a drunken flower grower who falls in love with Meenakshi. Meenakshi inspires Major Bala to stop drinking and to pursue her through music. His hopes are dashed when businessman Srikanth rescues Meenakshi after a fall and they fall in love over poetry.
After the death of their grandfather, Sowmya and Meenakshi find that their mother was disowned because their grandfather did not approve of her marriage, and their uncle who has not visited in ten years is left with everything. The family moves from their estate and tries to find means to support themselves. Sowmya initially finds work as a secretary, but soon puts her computer programming skills to use to get a better job.
Love also runs into trouble when Manohar appears to be in love with his leading lady and Srikanth disappears after business woes. Will Sowmya and Meenakshi be able to find true love?
While I Have Found It is set in a different place and time, I thought it did a great job of updating Sense and Sensibility to modern day India. In fact India with its arranged marriages and family obligations, allows the story to be more like the source material then if it were set in modern day England. I’m going to break it down and compare the I Have Found It characters to their Sense and Sensibility counterparts.
Major Bala as the “Colonel Brandon” of the story is given more of a back story showing his military experience. He also is missing a leg, unlike Colonel Brandon. He doesn’t have the tragic past love story of Colonel Brandon, but he does try to inspire Meenakshi, Marianne, through music just like his counterpart.
Manohar is the “Edward Ferrars” of the story. I thought he was livelier than Edward Ferrars and he definitely was more able to express his feelings to Sowmya than Edward was to Elinor. There is no Lucy Ferrars subplot in this movie, although Manohar and Sowmya has difficulties because of Sowmya’s perceived bad luck and also the rumors that Manohar is involved with his leading lady.
Srikanth is as mysterious as Mr. Willoughby in the original novel. He rescues Meenakshi in a rain storm after she has twisted her ankle and carries her home, a scene reminiscent of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility movie. Srikanth and Meenakshi fall in love over poetry, but then Srikanth mysteriously disappears because of business troubles. There is a meeting again later with a marriage that must take place to save the business all very reminiscent of the original novel. I didn’t think that Srikanth and Meenakshi had enough time falling in love in this movie.
Sowmya is the responsible Elinor that will marry for family obligations and also tries to keep her family afloat during financial hard times. I loved that Sowmya was a computer programmer (yeah women in science!), but I thought she was a little too emotional about her bad luck. The bad luck was not in the original novel.
Meenakshi is a very romantic Marianne and is able to sing her way through the movie. She has tragic love, and much sadness. The actress, who played Meenakshi, Aishwarya Rai, was also in Bride and Prejudice. She has a beautiful singing voice.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie and thought it was an interesting twist on the original classic, complete with great songs and scenery. It does not replace my beloved 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, but it was something different to watch!
Movie Source: The Kewaunee Public Library