Basmati Blues (2017) is a English movie. Dan Baron has directed this movie. Brie Larson,Utkarsh Ambudkar,Scott Bakula,Saahil Sehgal are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2017. Basmati Blues (2017) is considered one of the best Comedy,Musical,Romance movie in India and around the world.
A brilliant scientist is plucked out of the company lab and sent to India to sell the genetically modified rice she created - which she doesn't realize will destroy the farmers she thinks she's helping.
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I saw this movie this morning knowing nearly nothing about it. However fairly quickly, as soon as the setting moved to India, it dawned on me that I was watching sort of a western take on a Bollywood movie with music, and romance, dancing, good guys, bad guys, a love triangle, a bit of suspense and a bit of mayhem. The standard elements, identified by some other reviewers here as rom-com are the expected elements in a classic Bollywood film. And, let me be perfectly clear, the bad guys here are clearly the westerners. In fact, part of the suspense comes from wondering how the well-meaning western heroine, a scientist who has naively allowed herself to be manipulated by American agribusiness into doing something very harmful, can possibly redeem herself. Finally she will have to realize that the small farmers who surround her, and who have taken her into their hearts, are living and working under a system very different that what we usually see in the United States. These farmers do not hop into a giant pick-up truck, drive into town, take out a loan and buy their seed from a farm supply store. In my opinion, this is not a great film but it was a lot of fun. I liked it a lot more than La La Land which I also saw very early in its run with no pre-conceived notions of what I would be seeing. However, as I write this, Basmati Blues has a 3.7 rating here while La La Land has an 8.1. I don't get that.... Tonight I did a search on this movie and discovered that an early trailer had ignited controversy.... because of a white horse? and because of the present day phenomenon where angry trolls seem intent on attacking and destroying a movie they could not have actually seen. Please, just don't listen to them!
Why would such an apparently minor and lightweight movie attract stars like Donald Sutherland and Brie Larson? Because there's a surprise inside! Basmati Blues is, superficially, a simple, Americanized version of a Bollywood romantic comedy. It contains the usual elaborate song & dance numbers, many of them adapted to a Western audience, sometimes rather cleverly; and a fairly typical plot of a developing romance between two seemingly different and incompatible people who eventually find a way to be together. For a serious Bollywood fan, an American take on the genre might be worth watching as a novelty, and some of the musical numbers are not bad. What caught my interest, however, is the use of the movie to deliver a political message. The basic storyline involves a pretty young American woman, Linda (Brie Larson), something of a prodigy who works as a research scientist for a company called Mogil. (Mogil is very obviously intended to represent the Monsanto corporation; it even uses more or less the same logo.) Linda has developed a new genetically engineered form of rice. The company's CEO, Gurgon (Donald Sutherland), sends Linda to India to win over the farmers and convince them to sign on for the new rice variety. The scenes in India make good use of the beautiful landscape and give a positive impression of the close-knit farming communities. An idealistic young agriculture student from one of the farming villages begins a half-flirting, half-disputing relationship with Linda. As their romance slowly develops, the more serious part of the plot comes to the fore: the Indian farmers are at first unaware of the implications of accepting Mogil's engineered rice, and how it will change and possibly destroy their livelihood and way of life. One of the high points of the film is Donald Sutherland leading a song and dance number involving Gurgon and the Mogil executives, singing "The Greater Good," a musical explanation of Mogil's right to spread their product where possible, regardless of the possible loss of customers' savings, land, and way of life. Gurgon is a villain, but one who rationalizes his actions as benefiting the world in the long run, as it is right and natural for the superior person (himself) to control things. When the Indian farmers belatedly discover what signing on for the engineered rice might mean to them, a minor rebellion begins, and Linda must choose sides. A very well done musical interlude expresses the farmers' mass rebellion. Because this is a Bollywood-style movie above all, we are given a happy ending - and of course the elaborate Hindu wedding scene - along with the warning message. It may not be the most informative film about GMO crops in India, but it's certainly the most fun.
Not only are the songs and acting subpar ...you would think that if you say that you are in Bilari which is in UP (India) then the scenery, language on the signs, the little girl pointing to Larson as she speaks to her mom would be in Hindi or in Urdu...NOT in Malayalam which is from Kerala (south India). Typically American directors who have no clue about India to make it at least consistent.
A musical about westerner discovering the joys of life in India, what a great idea, eh? Who thinks of such an original thing? A promising young scientist (Alison Brie) is plucked out of the company lab and sent to India to sell the genetically modified rice she created - which she doesn't realize will destroy the farmers she thinks she's helping. Also starring, Saahil Sehgal, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Scott Bakula, Donald Sutherland, Tyne Daly et al. I don't dig musicals, so if you kinda like them, you can stop reading this and just assume that "Basmati Blues" has enough good **** to warrant at least one viewing. Still here? Good, because my rant is only starting. Honestly, why are the musical movies so popular? Many of them are so conventional that the cliches and generic approaches could strangle us if they had hands. And don't even get me started on the acting and quality of storytelling - compared to the "usual" movies, they seem just artificial, or stupid at worst. The only exceptions that I know of seen are HBO's series "Flight of the Conchords" and, maybe, "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" and "Team America". Many would not even call them musicals. One could argue that there's some freshness to be found in "Basmati Blues" because although it is a musical movie AND takes place in India, they have not maybe used all the most common cliches that immediately spring to mind. There are even some scenes that felt original and unexpected, including "violence is There's a chance that you can't predict every single event and turn that the story offers. Sadly it still does not save the result of being lazily written and lacking in charm or authentic humour overall. I know your next question. Why did I watch it in the first place, if I find musicals boring? Well, it happens to star Alison Brie who's one of the best young-ish actresses around, and I was intrigued by the idea of watching her sing and dance or something. She can certainly sing, and has memorised the dance moves adequately if not captivatingly, but I am sad to conclude that this must be her weakest performance on screen that I know of. And I've seen almost all of her movies since the breakthrough role in "United States of Tara" series. The problem is not only with her boring character - because let's face it, boring, one-note characters are gold standards in musical movies anyway. It's that Larson is not really into the material, although it must have probably felt like a cool project and nice break from the usual. But one can tell from the very first scene that she's not 'feeling' it, although she does her best to 'grow' into it, and the performance does get more relaxed and natural later. Also, she tends to "act" too much at times, which I have never witnessed before, but let's be generous and assume that it's a stylistical choice because "Basmati Blues" is a conventional musical after all. The last nail in the coffin is the lack of chemistry with Utkarsh Ambudkar playing Larson's character's love interest. There's some friendly energy going between them, but there's no way I'd buy something more happening between these two. Also, the screenplay is remarkably lazy on explaining how the attraction starts and develops - weak even for a musical. I hope that I will get to see Brie Larson in interesting projects again soon. She's gonna start appearing as Captain Marvel in superhero movies pretty soon, so there may be not much time for her to do something respecting her acting talent in the near future... I also hope that Aziz Ansari's sometimes-near-genius Netflix series "Master of None" will have a slow but sure impact on wiping away the cliched approach that the mainstream western movies rely on portraying Indians. I mean, haven't we had enough of those, really? "Basmati Blues" feels like an overlong, 106 minute mediocre sitcom pilot: it has some moments, but one can easily get by without it.
It's just a fun fish-out-of-water romantic comedy/musical that works as both a family movie and a date movie. Brie Larson gets to show off her musical talent and Donald Sutherland doesn't disappoint as the bad guy. On top of that, I learned a thing or two about rice farming along the way. Go figure!