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American Chai (2001)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  25 January 2001 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 301 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 23 user | 11 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: American Chai (2001)

American Chai (2001) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aalok Mehta ...
Sureel
...
Maya
...
Engineering Sam
Josh Ackerman ...
Toby
...
Hari
Paresh Rawal ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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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

 
Impassioned Movie from the Heart of Indian-Americans
28 October 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

I felt those moments of discovery watching "American Chai" like I did when I first saw "Greetings" by Brian DePalma, Cameron Crowe's "Say Anything," and Edward Burns' "Brothers McMullen" -- here's a major new talent.

Yeah it's yet another son-of-immigrants story, but the dialog is fresh, funny, tender and frank, the conflicts real and contemporary, the characters a rich and rounded variety of personalities and social types reflecting the titular mixed blend tea.

Anurag Mehta writes and directs an impassioned movie from the heart, and probably his experiences as an Indian-American artist wannabe growing up in NJ and going to Rutgers. Covering the college years before the young professionals in "ABCD," Mehta managed with no budget and a mostly young, multi-talented cast that's barely gotten their SAG cards, yet sings and writes music (appealing lead Aalok Mehta) and dances (captivating Sheetal Sheth, who was also in "ABCD"), including in funny satires of Bollywood conventions.

Like in Burns' own "Sidewalks of New York," the scene and symbolism setting World Trade Center-dominated background skyline will always let us know what day it was filmed before.

(originally written 4/20/2002)


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