6.3/10
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23 user 11 critic

American Chai (2001)

Sureel is a first generation Indian American college graduating senior music major who's controlling father still believes that he is pre-med. His desires in life conflict with both his ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aalok Mehta ...
Sureel
...
Maya
...
Engineering Sam
Josh Ackerman ...
Toby
...
Hari
...
Sureel's Dad
Bharti Desai ...
Sureel's Mom
Akshay Oberoi ...
Neel
Rajiv Reddy ...
Young Sureel
...
Jen
...
Sejal
Anand Chulani ...
Raju
Jill Anderson ...
Lisa
Kyle Koehl ...
Young Boy
Marlee Kattler ...
Young Girl
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Storyline

Sureel is a first generation Indian American college graduating senior music major who's controlling father still believes that he is pre-med. His desires in life conflict with both his family's traditional values, and the usual Indian way of assimilating into America by becoming a doctor or engineer. As graduation approaches, he has an opportunity to be nationally recognized for his music which will simplify telling his father the truth. Value conflicts are explored as the rationale behind internal racism and dating objectives are also explored. Written by Scott, Milwaukee, WI

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A non-traditional blend.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual dialogue | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 January 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Maya: This fits right into your whole "fusion/salad-bowl-of-cultures" philosophy. How did I ever stand a chance? I'm too much lettuce.
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Connections

References The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good first effort.
27 March 2002 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

"American Chai" is a good effort by first time director Anurag Mehta. He also wrote the screenplay, which is OK, but not noteworthy in any way. There's nothing new to the story, a boy pursuing his dream of becoming a musician, even though his father wants him to be a doctor. The value of the film lies in the other conflict, between cultures. The American born son, Sureel, is all American, whereas the father still adheres to many Indian traditions. The film provides a tiny glimpse into this American/Indian culture.

Aalok Mehta, Anurag's real life brother, plays Sureel. To put it mildly, I think his acting leaves a lot to be desired. He's not alone in this regard. Aside from Paresh Rawal, who plays the father, most of the performances were merely adequate. This is not surprising, in that, Rawal is an accomplished performer in India.

The music was good, and I think Aalok has a future there, but otherwise, this is just a run-of-mill movie.


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