Harish Kumar Patel lives with his mom and dad in Valsad, Gujarat, India, where he is studying Electronic Engineering. His dad, Satish Kumar, wants him to re-locate to the U.S., live with ... See full summary »
Harish Kumar Patel lives with his mom and dad in Valsad, Gujarat, India, where he is studying Electronic Engineering. His dad, Satish Kumar, wants him to re-locate to the U.S., live with the Bakshis, study, and marry the girl of his choice. Harish must first go through the blessings of an Astrologer, Bholey Shankar Maharaj, who blesses him, informs him that he will meet a girl whose name will start with "P", who he will marry. An overly excited Harish travels all the way to Houston, Texas, U.S. where he is met fondly by the Bakshi family, consisting of Mrs. and Dr. Bakshi, Mohan, and Deepu. In keeping with the fear and paranoia after the September 11 attacks, Mrs. Bakshi has made it a practice to place American flags in the front pockets of her sons, and she does it now for Harish as well. Mohan is around Harish's age and shows him around the campus. Harish meets with a beautiful Malyalee girl, Priya, and falls in love with her. But things do not go as planned when Harish finds out ... Written by
The film is based on Sunil Thakkar's own experiences running and throwing parties for the Music Masala radio station, and having to discriminate between "Fresh off the Boat" Indians and the more fashionable, hip, Americanized Indians. Ironically enough, Thakkar's character in the film is exactly the type of person he barred from parties in those days. See more »
The FOBs, man, they're ruining us! We gotta sit down and figure out what we're gonna do. Maybe we should stop playing Indian music.
Ray, it's and Indian party.
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Vastly Disappointing....so much potential wasted on a corny script
"Dude where's the Party?" (Where's the Party Yaar?) is yet another movie that deals with young Indian Americans, and it really doesn't offer a whole lot new or interesting. The territory covered here about Indians (Desi) is old hat, the humor very stale and as painfully unfunny as an SNL skit gone awry. There is absolutely nothing wrong with revisiting familiar plot lines, but they could at least be done in more interesting ways.
Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar) is the only one that gives out a performance with any kind of decency here, probably because he is for all intents and purposes the only real actor in this film. Everyone else in this movie is a rank amateur, better suited for a church Christmas play written by a 45+ year old Uncle (Indian parent or "adult"), then a mass marketed film. The film is about Hari Patel, a well intentioned kid from India who travels to America to study engineering and meet his true love as proclaimed by one of his village elders (in an over the top campy performance) back in India. Hari excited as ever, goes to Houston, TX where moves in with his super cool cousin Mohan "Mo" Bakshi and his family. Kal Penn's Mo character instantly is disgusted by his FOB (fresh off the boat) cousin and is embarrassed that he has to introduce Hari to all his equally super cool and very shallow friends at U of H. And Mo has every good reason to be repulsed by Hari. Hari dresses like an idiot, smells like curry, makes a mess of the family bathroom, and speaks in a loud and obnoxious voice. Essentially Hari Patel is a FOB character exaggerated to the nth degree, a total caricature of the real deal. His accent is exaggerated to the point of sounding fake, and his clothes and hair are just terrible. I've encountered several newly arrived Indian immigrants in my lifetime, and even the worst of them with their slacks and white tennis shoes do not act as unbelievably stupid as Hari Patel does here. There is a hollow ringing moral lesson at the end of the film, where the shallow cool Indians learn how to better treat the FOBs.
Basically the essential reason Indian Americans have been confused about their identities and so many flicks like this have exploded onto the scene is because Indians can't stop being Indian. It's not because the Indian culture is so vastly different from American culture or Western culture as a whole. No, there are many Eastern European countries and Middle Eastern countries whose cultures can be eerily similar to "Indian culture" and it's strict parental rules. But if they are White or fair skinned White looking, they can easily blend into American culture far more easily. When was the last time you heard of confused Russian American kids? Yeah they don't exist. But as an Indian you carry India with you everywhere you go and this more then anything else is the root of the struggle for ABCDs (American Born Confused Desi). You'll always be Indian in America or any other country, and you will always be way too American/Western if you go back to India. That's likely the reason that there are more of these type of movies depicting Indian American trials then there are East Asian American struggles. Asian Americans have been around in the United States for so long and overall just tend to blend in better then Indians do. Indian skin complexion tends to stand out, we look like "foreigners" even if you are super cool like the club hopping Indian kids in this movie. Add to that we have only been around in significantly large numbers since the 1970s and there you have the answer.
Certainly there has been a Desi explosion in American/Western pop culture in recent years, in no way did I even imagine all this mainstream Indian exposure as a kid growing up back in the 80s and 90s. It clearly took a generation of Indians to grow up in America to bring Desi culture to the pop forefront, because our parents generation certainly wasn't going to do it. I've been hard on this film but it did have it's moments too, I especially liked the boy band serenade with the Hindi remix. I liked how the movie showcased Desi culture in Houston, as opposed to New York, Chicago, or Philly. I also loved how it showed a variety of Indian subcultures, not just North Indians which is what is usually done in the other flicks. I was happy that there was no big melodramatic Indian wedding,---though a fist fight between two Uncles would have been hilarious. I myself have never really been immersed in the young Indian American culture, but growing up ABCD you'll still know it very well in many ways. The characters parents live in giant homes that are essentially mini mansions, a favorite of many Indians (especially Malayalees) who aspire to live in the posh Houston suburb of Sugarland---but usually at hard cost cutting standards for those that don't have the natural income to live in such large homes. It was also surreal for me to hear Malayalam actually spoken on screen. "Where's the Party Yarr?" should probably be given it's dues just for being yet another Desi movie that did try and one that might make us less strange to the general American public. With a few exceptions, no one could figure out quite how to do these kind of films back in the 1990s, and it was pure fantasy in the '80s. I don't want to even begin to imagine what it was like for the very early Indian American youth back in the '70s. Keep making Indian American/Western flicks, but get bolder...and funnier. I'm still waiting for that great Desi film or novel that will echo what Amy Tan did for Asians with "The Joy Luck Club".
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