Leela is a film based on the South Asian-American experience. By providing a dynamic expression of the struggles and celebrations of the expatriate lifestyle, Leela has the potential to be ... See full summary »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A slim uneducated guy is pressured into an arranged marriage with an over-weight college girl. The mismatched couple are challenged to compete in the annual wife-carrying race.

Director: Sharat Katariya
Stars: Bhumi Pednekar, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanjay Mishra
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

On a cruise to celebrate their parents' 30th wedding anniversary, a brother and sister deal with the impact of family considerations on their romantic lives.

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Stars: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shetty, Priyanka Chopra
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Two lovers, having been denied true love 300 years ago, are reincarnated in order to correct that wrong.

Director: Bobby Khan
Stars: Sunny Leone, Rahul Dev, Mohit Ahlawat
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The origin story of famous Bengali sleuth Byomkesh Bakshi created by Saradindu Bandopadhyay.

Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Stars: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari, Divya Menon
Kahaani (2012)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A pregnant woman's search for her missing husband takes her from London to Kolkata, but everyone she questions denies having ever met her husband.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Stars: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee
Fire (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ashok runs a family business that sells takeout food that also has a video rental store at the side. Ashok's extended family includes his wife Radha, his brother Jatin, their ailing mother ... See full summary »

Director: Deepa Mehta
Stars: Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Karishma Jhalani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A story of a girl who came from a village to get stardom in the fashion industry. What happens next when she is surrounded by obstacles?

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Stars: Akanksha Puri, Avani Modi, Kyra Dutt
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Tanu and Manu's marriage collapses. What happens when Manu meets Tanu's lookalike Kusum - and when Tanu returns?

Director: Aanand Rai
Stars: Madhavan, Kangana Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey
Airlift (2016)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

When Iraq invades Kuwait in August, 1990, a callous Indian businessman becomes the spokesperson for more than 170,000 stranded countrymen.

Director: Raja Menon
Stars: Nimrat Kaur, Akshay Kumar, Sameer Ali Khan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Vinod Khanna ...
Deepti Naval ...
Amol Mhatre ...
Kris / Krishna
Brendan Hughes ...
Kelly Gunning ...
Garrett Devereux ...
Kyle Erby ...
Mira (as Sarayu Rao)
Partha Dey ...
Sandeep Walia ...
Delna Rastomjee ...
Joya Chatterjee
Gargi Sen ...


Leela is a film based on the South Asian-American experience. By providing a dynamic expression of the struggles and celebrations of the expatriate lifestyle, Leela has the potential to be a crossover film - popular among expatriate South Asians and mainstream English speaking audiences the world over. Leela is a true reflection of how the South Asian-American community is beginning to emerge, blend, and influence the mainstream American culture in its own exquisite ways. Leela is the story of Leela, an aware, liberal woman who struggles with the true meaning of independence. It is also the story of Krishna, born of Indian parents in America but uncomfortable with his hyphenated existence. Leela then is a universal story of two paths that cross each other and pause a moment before moving on. Written by Somnath Sen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 November 2002 (India)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A decent debut effort
31 July 2003 | by (St. Louis, USA) – See all my reviews

I had expected this to be another pretentious drama with stereotypical Indo-American characters and all the identity issues that they face while growing up in the US. But this turned out to be a little less preachy and clichéd, and treated the characters as individuals than caricatures of the culture they represent.

The story revolves around the familiar subject of US born Indians, their immigrant parents and all the values that they feel torn between. Movies like American Desi, Hollywood Bollywood have treaded on this path earlier, albeit on a lighter note, and have never really come across as anything more than entertaining. Mitr and ABCD were perhaps more of a serious study on the subject although poor acting and direction seemed to have doomed Mitr right from the start. ABCD on the other hand was an honest effort with believable characters that came off surprisingly well. This film may have set out on the lines of ABCD with big names thrown in for commercial viability but falls short of being convincing.

The central character is a teenager who comes from a rather unconventional family (unconventional in Indian terms) wherein his parents are both separated and have found new partners to live with and go on with their lives. They appear to be successful in terms of career, their adaptation to the native culture and pretend to be comfortable with their choices and arrangements - all in the name of freedom and individuality. But they somehow still seem to cling on to their roots of tradition and conservative thinking which manifests hideously when they realize that their boy is having an affair with his teacher, played with finesse by Dimple Kapadia. The mother (a good come-back performance by Deepti Naval) desperately tries to break this with a whole deal of emotional drama which goes to show the real insecurity behind the superficial image of modern thinking and liberate views that she portrays! But in the process the characters are made aware of their own shortcomings and insecurities that bring about a sea of change in all of them to eventually help the movie end in a pleasant note!

The actors play their parts with relative ease and do not seem too awkward. Visually the movie is charming with good cinematography and art direction that's done tastefully. The editing is also crisp and the soundtrack with lyrics by Gulzar and playbacks by Jagjit Singh and Shubha Mudgal, amongst others, seems to blend well without really sticking out as a sore thumb. It's finally the narration and the script that limits this effort from really evolving into something meaningful and serious. The film eventually comes across as a half-baked effort that loses purpose as it progresses and a script that never acquires that serious tone or pace to keep you completely engaged.

But all said this still seems a step in the right direction for serious Indian filmmakers. The Indian community is often looked upon as made up of successful individuals in fields of commerce and education but never really presented seriously beyond the boot polish smeared faces of Peter Sellers and other Hollywood actors. These films perhaps would pave the way for an entry into the mainstream foray by Indian filmmakers.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Leela (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: