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Flavors

TO BE different and fresh in the face of a profusion of cross-over films or ones that show the Indian Diaspora in foreign lands is difficult. Several angles and aspects of angst have been shown through ventures that explore the effect of cross-cultural influences. And specifically what it does to Indians. But here comes a film that not only shows a very real face to Indians living abroad but also goes along very naturally with a flow that ties up well in the end.

It is not the most spectacular film ever made on this subject. But the way it has been presented, goes beyond a nice home video about a couple of Indians trying to make a living in the land of opportunities and their personal experiences on a day- to-day basis.

It is humorously done and does not take life or itself very seriously.

It is not so much about American perception of Indians as much as Indians as they are. There is no ulterior motive to rationalise or even philosophise about what makes them such a breed — of people caught between two cultures but not necessarily traumatised by it. It is more about adapting to new things with a lightness that makes viewing very pleasurable.

The film focuses on a couple of youngsters against the world of IT — work obsessions, stereotypes, cultural contrasts and an American life with a balance of the Indian and self-exploration.

It is very wholesome with no emphasis on sex, violence, deep sadness and is not very austere either.

Rachna (Pooja Kumar) and Kartik (Reef Karim) are buddies. Distance does not matter as they talk to each other everyday, sharing every experience and event. While Kartik is not inclined to take things very seriously, Rachana is being set up in the marriage market and even tries considering one of them.

Rad is the quintessential Indian making it good in America and readying to marry Jenny, an American. His parents (Anjan Srivastav and Bharati Achrekar) come visiting for the impending wedding and make serious efforts to like and love their new `bahu.'

Then there is Sangeeta whose husband Nikhil is forever at meetings, and one day does not seem very different from the other. And there are the roomies Ashok, Jaswant and Vivek and the feisty Candy who houses them and has set rules for living there. All the three men are in search of the perfect job and also constantly wonder why Vivek is obsessed with a girl back home. He does not know her `but really loves her.' !

The entire narration is through the unfolding events of the long distance friends and the wedding, and the editing makes the film rather innovative.

All the characters perform naturally enough for audiences to feel that this is as close to reality as one can get. And a lot of the credit ought to go to director Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK who look at software professions with a keen eye on the funny yet frustrating side of it.

CHITRA MAHESH

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