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Basmati Blues Movie Review: It Is Simply The Pits!



Basmati Blues

Starring: Brie Larson,Utkarsh Ambudkar,  Scott Bakula, Donald Sutherland

Directed by: Danny Baron

Rating: *(1 star)

 The  worst possible stereotypes  on the Indian ruralscape runs through this puny undernourished tale of an innocent rice breeding community  and theavarious imperialists represented  by a smirky Donald Sutherland who persuades our heroine  , the very talented Brie Larson  to undertake a  journey through Kerala in pursuit of touristic  enlightenment. The kind that you would probably get if you were browsing through a travel brochure.

If superficial fluffy  annoying romcoms are your scene you have to give this one try, though  even the the most diehard romantic , the kind that sobs on reading Valentine greeting cards, would  find it hard to bear the sheer puerility  of  the  presentation.The characters are  all bouncy bubble dwellers.

Right after you finish wondering  about the most fundamental question regarding this film—why was  it made in  the  first place?—you will wonder why an actress  of  Brie Larson’s caliber  agreed  to be part of this chawal-dull thali. You will  remember Brie in the wonderful film about boxed-in motherhood  Room. Here she is  boxed-in  in a less physical more spiritual sense,trapped in a no-man’s-land of lachrymose feelings.

The  film oozes a  kind of unstoppable sickening sweetness as the Enlightened Empowered Western Woman Linda(played with enlightened empowerment by Brie Larson) meets native Keralities who are constantly talking,  or eating, or complaining  or singing and  dancing .You know how the savage native are…One of them is  the social  crusader Rajat(Utkarsh Ambukar) a playful Noble Savage who has a yen for bursting into songs and dances . Maybe he has been watching  too many Bollywood films in his free time.

Rajat  and another local rice-boy William(Sahil Sehgal) are  the two love interests in Linda’s life.For all we  know she may end up marrying one of them.Whatever her decisions in  life rest assured  it is of no concern  to  us whatsoever. This is a film that evokes supreme  boredom from audiences and a bit of vexation at the vacation that native intelligence takes when a Western  mind sets off to court Orientalism by the  book.

All the natives speak English with a thick accent. This is a Kerala that exists only in the  minds of  a certain kind of Westerners who visit India to see theTaj Mahal and ‘Bollywood’.Shallow,incongruous and downright embarrassing  for the actors who are made to participate  in  this retarded rite of passage  into a tourist-brochure India Basmati Blues is exasperating  enough to put you off Basmati rice forever.

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