Keeping Up with the Kandasamys (2017)


Keeping Up with the Kandasamys (2017)

Shanti Naidoo is a typical Type- A personality. Always on the move, going out of her way to please people, and overcompensating for her perceived inadequacies by continually cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Her life would be just fine, except that her neighbor Jennifer Kandasamy always seems to hold the upper hand. Somehow Jennifer appears to outdo whatever Shanti does and life appears to be a constant battle of trying to keep up with the Kandasamys. When Jennifer realizes her 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. At first Shanti refuses point blank, but they both soon realize that they have no choice. The last thing they need is to be related to one another. Together the two women scheme and plot, recruit prospective partners and generally interfere in the lives of their kids wherever they can. What is the big secret that is the cause of the underlying tension between...
South Africa
IMDb  6.6 /10
Director Jayan Moodley
Writer Rory Booth
Writer Jayan Moodley
Release Date2017-03-03
Runtime1h 35mins
Content Rating
CompanyAfrican Lotus Production Studios
CountrySouth Africa
Alisha Authbehari
Alisha Authbehari
Mariam Bassa
Mariam Bassa
Rory Booth
Rory Booth
Preggie Naidoo
Mishka Gounden
Mishka Gounden
Neil Govender
Neil Govender
Samantha Govender
Samantha Govender
Rushil Juglall
Rushil Juglall
Vashir Kemraj
Vashir Kemraj
Desan Kandasamy
Melanie Kisten
Melanie Kisten
Maeshni Naicker
Maeshni Naicker
Shanti Naidoo
Jailoshini Naidoo
Jailoshini Naidoo
Jennifer Kandasamy
Koobeshan Naidoo
Koobeshan Naidoo
Elvis Kandasamy
O'Neil Nair
O'Neil Nair

Keeping Up with the Kandasamys

Keeping Up with the Kandasamys (or simply Kandasamys) is a 2017 South African Indian comedy film directed by Jayan Moodley, and was the first South African Indian film to be screened widely in theaters. It stars Jailoshini Naidoo, Maeshni Naicker, Madhushan Singh, and Mishqah Parthiephal. The film grossed over R4 million at the box office in its first week and went on to gross over R16 million ($1 million USD), becoming the highest grossing film in South Africa for the year, and the highest grossing South African film worldwide in 2017. It also featured in film festivals in North America.


Shanti Naidoo is the typical Indo-South African mother. Overbearing and overprotective, she dotes on her family, and is well known in the community for her generosity and great cooking. Her life would be just fine, except that her neighbour, Jennifer Kandasamy, always seems to hold the upper hand. Intelligent, elegant, and classy, the career driven Jennifer always manages to out-do whatever Shanti does, and life for the two women appears to be a constant battle of trying to keep up with each other. When Jennifer realises that her 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.


  • Madhushan Singh as Prishen Naidoo, Jodi's boyfriend, Preggie and Shanti Naidoo's son, and Desan's brother
  • Mishqah Parthiephal as Jodi Kandasamy, Prishen's girlfriend, Elvis and Jennifer's daughter and Aya's granddaughter
  • Jailoshini Naidoo as Jennifer Kandasamy, Elvis's wife, Jodi's mother, Aya's daughter-in-law, and Shanti's old school friend
  • Maeshni Naicker as Shanti Naidoo, Preggie's wife, Prishen and Desan's mother, and Jennifer's old school friend
  • Koobeshan Naidoo as Elvis Kandasamy, Jennifer's husband, Jodi's father, and Aya's son.
  • Rajesh Gopie as Preggie Naidoo, Shanti's husband and Prishen and Desan's father
  • Mariam Bassa as Aya Kandasamy, Elvis's mother, Jennifer's mother-in-law, and Jodi's granny
  • Vashir Kemraj as Desan, Preggie and Shanti's son and Prishen's younger brother
  • Neil Govender as Marlin, Jody's best friend and also an events organiser
  • Rushil Juglall as Arsevan, worker of Marlin's and dj at Aaya's birthday party
  • Rory Booth as Asheel
  • Alisha Authbehari as Devani
  • Samantha Govender as Vassie
  • Melanie Kisten as Mala
  • Sanam Sitaram as Berenice
  • Junaid Ahmed as Stall Owner
  • Ruben Naidoo as Bangladesh Uncle
  • Bivash Mahabeer as Road Boy
  • Logie Naidoo as MC
  • Mishka Gounden as Meryl
  • O'Neil Nair as Dylan


Award TitleActor/Actress NameAward CeremonyWon/Nominated
Best Actress FilmMaeshni NaickerSimon Sabela 2018Won
Jailoshini NaidooNominated
Best Supporting Actor FilmMadhushan SinghWon
Rajesh GopieNominated
Best Supporting Actress FilmMishqah ParthiphalNominated
Best FilmJayan MoodleyNominated
Best Director FilmNominated
Best use of KZN as a Filming locationNominated


The film received mixed reviews from film critics, who applauded the film for its showcasing of the South African Indian community, as well as its unexpected impact on the local film industry. Jared Beukes of Huffpost gave it a positive review, praising Moodley's "heartfelt intent" for the film and Jailoshini Naidoo's performance. Gabi Zietsman of Channel 24 gave the film a 3/5 rating, acclaiming the film for its portrayal of a "Rainbow Nation" that is not often represented in South African media. Zietsman went on to praise Moodley and writer Rory Booth's screenplay, stating that the duo "work great as a team and produced an entertaining comedy that will make you scream with laughter." He also singled out Naidoo's performance for praise stating that "can't help but wonder why we haven’t seen them in more movies." Writing for the Independent Online, Paul Eksteen gave the film a warm review, stating that "Despite the universal, and very rom-com aesthetic of this film, it is likely to find its greatest appeal within the community it celebrates. There, the little quirks that drew so many laughs at the screening I attended will draw the most appreciation. It helps if you’re in on the joke." Haji Mohamed Dawjee of Eyewitness News stated that " terrible writing and misfired humor made it an exhausting viewing experience, and more than that, the movie missed out on a massive chance to educate communities in South Africa residing outside of Chatsworth."


Following the success of the film, in July 2018, Jayan Moodley, the director of Keeping Up with the Kandasamys, announced a sequel called Kandasamys: The Wedding. A trailer was released in December 2018.