Trash Of The Fortnight : American Chai
Despite a competent performance by Paresh Rawal, this one’s a big bore, particularly for those who’ve already seen American Desi a couple of months ago. American Chai is the same predictable tale about a boy of Indian origin coming to terms with his identity in America. Sureel believes that an individual should have the "freedom to choose who he wants to be and what he wants to do". Yet he can’t tell his parents that he is studying music, not medicine, as they had desired. He is caught between a traditional home and a progressive set of American pals. And after a bad relationship with a Yankee girlfriend, ends up in the arms of a good girl of Indian origin. The problem with American Chai and the newer lot of nri films in general is the easy and superficial manner in which they deal with the seminal issues of roots and nationality. The angst and alienation of American Chai’s protagonist is never searing enough and the talk of "fusion salad bowl philosophy" sounds too smart and specious. Okay, the K3G brand of nris live in a candyfloss world but the cinema of the nris by the nris is also as naive and simplistic. Just tell us another story.