5.8/10
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23 user 19 critic

Chutney Popcorn (1999)

Reena is a young Indian American lesbian who lives and works in New York. Her sister Sarita, who is happily married, discovers that she is infertile. Reena offers to be a surrogate mother ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Reena
...
Lisa
...
Sarita
...
Meenu
...
Mitch
...
Janis
...
...
Tiffany
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monica Bhatia ...
Wedding Girl
Cristal Chindamo ...
Cristal
Saylor Creswell ...
Doctor
Destiny Donovan ...
Wedding Girl
Laura Dubrule ...
Bi-phobia Dyke
Eliza Foss ...
Dr. Brendel
Vinod Ganatra ...
Visiting Auntie
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Storyline

Reena is a young Indian American lesbian who lives and works in New York. Her sister Sarita, who is happily married, discovers that she is infertile. Reena offers to be a surrogate mother for her sister's baby, hoping to improve her relationship with their mother, who disapproves of Reena's sexual orientation. Reena has second thoughts when her girlfriend Lisa feels left out. Written by gavin@sunny_deol2009@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman. Her girlfriend. A sister. Her husband. Their baby.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 2001 (Netherlands)  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director and co-writer Nisha Ganatra stepped into the lead role of Reena after the actress originally cast in the role quit the production shortly before filming began. See more »

Quotes

Mitch: Sarita, the probabilty of you getting on a motorcycle is the same probability of Shiva having a penis.
Sarita: Shiva does have a penis. Shiva's a man.
Mitch: No he's not. Everyone knows all Hindu Gods are genderless.
Sarita (calling up her mother): Hi Mom. Shiva's a man, right?...And that would imply that He has a penis, right?...(To Mitch) Yes!
See more »

Connections

Features The Mischievous Ravi (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Chai Pow's Revenge
Written by Karsh Kale
Performed by Karsh Kale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, hilarious, touching
2 March 2003 | by (New Hampshire) – See all my reviews

This brilliant film is so funny that it had me in tears of laughter. Yet seconds after its funniest moment it has one of the most powerful and moving scenes I've ever seen on film.

This movie is all the more remarkable because it was made by two women who had essentially zero financial backing, and who had to beg, borrow or steal everything it took to make the movie. And Nisha Ganatra - the director, co-writer, and leading actor - had no previous film experience.

The story steps outside the box. Yes, it's about lesbians and it's about the sometimes uneasy mix of cultures that results from immigration, but most lesbian movies are coming-out stories, and most culture clash movies focus on the tribulations of immigrants adjusting to their new culture. This movie focuses on second-generation women caught between the traditions, practices, and world views of their Indians family and their American friends - and the coming-out part is more or less only a sidebar to the main story.

Most fundamentally, this is a story about two sisters, the desire of one to help the other after her sister suffers a major loss - and the havoc that her sometimes clumsy actions (and the mistaken assumptions her family makes about her and her actions) wreak in the lives of everyone close to them.

Ultimately it's a story about growth and change, but it steps outside the Hollywood box in another way. Unlike almost all traditional films, not only the central character but everyone around her also goes through a process of growth and change.

I loved the acting as well. Jill Hennessy is gorgeous and wonderful to watch - and her sultry voice makes listening to her a joy as well. Sakina and Madhur Jaffrey are both delightful, and Nisha Ganatra is extremely convincing as a shy, sweet, introverted and perhaps naive young woman with a generous heart.

Unlike the typical Hollywood blockbuster, watching these women made me feel like I was just hanging out with some friends - which in my mind is a sure sign of pure artistry. Nisha's performance is all the more remarkable considering she never intended to act in the movie and stepped in only at the last moment when she lost her leading lady.

This film is a remarkable achievement, and a marvelous experience.


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