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New York (2009)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,389 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 57 user | 16 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

A taxi-driver is detained on suspicion of being a terrorist.

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Title: New York (2009)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Samir 'Sam' Shaikh
...
Omar Ehzaz
...
Maya Shaikh
...
Roshan (as Irrfan)
...
Zilgai (as Nawazuddin)
Mirza Ali Quli ...
Zaheer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rizwan A. Alvi ...
Yasir (as Rizwan Alvi)
...
Russian #1
Brandi Antoinette Briggs ...
Young female student
Ernest E. Brown ...
...
Yaqub
...
Sam's friend
Brian Dawson ...
Daylan (as Biren Patel)
...
Avacuee
Hope Galloway ...
Spectator
Edit

Storyline

After being apprehended, detained, humiliated, and denied legal counsel by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Omar Ehzaz, originally from Delhi's Lajpatnagar, relates to the investigator, Roshan, assigned to his case, how he arrived in New York during 1999; his friendship with Samir Shaikh and Student Counselor, Maya; the events of September 11, 2001; the subsequent paranoia, fear, racial profiling, generated and aggravated by the tyrannical right-winged regime of George W. Bush, and how he came to be in possession of several Ak47s and plastic explosives that were confiscated from his taxi-cab. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Three friends ready to face the world... and then the world changed.


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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 June 2009 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Нью-Йорк  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£157,524 (UK) (26 June 2009)

Gross:

$981,866 (USA) (17 July 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In January, 2009 one of the film's crew members invited John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Kabir Khan and other crew members to his birthday party at a local nightclub in New York. While the crew members, who arrived in one car, were allowed into the nightclub, the actors, who had arrived in another car, were denied access by security who did not recognize them and who demanded identification. Neither they nor some crew members (who came from inside to help out) were able to convince security that they were important stars in India. By the time Abraham, Kaif, Khan, and Mukesh had returned with identification, the party had ended. See more »

Goofs

Omar tells Maya that he has not been around, because their college experience will soon be over, and he has been packing. Then we see the reports of 9/11. But 9/11 happened at the beginning of a college semester, not near the end of one. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Sam: [on the phone] I'm in detention! Listen to me!
See more »

Connections

References Jagte Raho (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Mere Sang
Written by Sandeep Srivastava
Composed by Pritam Chakraborty
Performed by Sunidhi Chauhan
Courtesy of Yash Raj Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bollywood has taken the "happy ending" too far.
28 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

New York is Bollywood's first mainstream film on the 9/11 issue. Fortunately, it is not a rehashed Hollywood 9/11 film, but it treats of issues specific to South Asians post 9/11. However, by the end of the film you wonder whether New York has been sponsored by the American tourism department as a PR campaign to keep Indians coming to America. A reassurance perhaps, that: "It's OK for you to come to America, if you are not a terrorist, we will love you and treat you as our equals, or maybe even better."

Before I go onto discus relatively minor issues of the technical aspects of the film-making of the film, I want to discuss the more major issues that a film on 9/11 requires deliberation on: political ideologies. As many have remarked in earlier reviews New York seem to have a confused political ideology. In the first half, you are exposed to the horrors of the Patriot act, detention centres and torture to which many South Asians, particularly those of Muslim descent were being subjected to, and how this lead to huge alienation and radical sentiments amongst the Muslim population. So you think this is a film made on the plight of these innocent people and will be critical of such policies.

In the second half,these policies are justified by blaming Muslims themselves for alienating themselves from America. Prior to this, America was a benign, secular, free and embracing democracy in which Indian students were actually not just amongst the most popular in American college campuses, but the most popular. Everyone was happy, free loving and enjoying their life. It was the fault of Muslims that all this changed.

By the end of the film, because the Muslims have rectified their ways, America loves Muslims again. So much so that the child of an actual terrorist is the most popular kid in his school. It's all free and loving again. There is even a message in the end-credits on how Obama has closed down the detention centres - now we can all live happily ever after.

Of course, many know that none of that is reality. No, America was not a completely benign, secular and free embracing democracy in which Indians enjoyed equal or even better status prior to 9/11. Nor, was it the fault of Muslims that America enacted policies like Patriot act, illegal detention and torture, and instigated wars. These policies were already in the pipelines long before 9/11. One simply has to read the policies of the Bush administration prior to 9/11 to find virtually all the post 9/11 policies contained therein.

And finally no, none of these policies have changed. If one looks at the statistics the alienation of Muslims has not decreased, but increased. The detention centres are still open and fully operational. The wars are still going on and more are being planned. Americans are still losing their civil rights by the day. And as for Obama, let alone closing Guantanamo, he has called for prolonged detention of anybody who COULD be a terrorist in the future without warrant, without trial, without evidence.

It is a given that the Bollywood formula is mostly a fantasy genre of film-making. It is not suppose to be reality, but a hyper-real reality, more vibrant and more idealistic than the real world. However, it is insulting to ones intelligence, when it transposes this formula onto serious issues like 9/11 and human rights issue. Such issues demand realism, deliberate critical and intelligent political commentary and pain streaking research. But, in "New York" we get a New York that is a montage of nothing more than perfect and idyllic shots of modernism; presenting nothing more than escapism for a developing India. We see fun, frolics and perfect relationships which seem be juxtaposed from an episode of friends. It is small wonder why Indians have such rose-tinted expectations of places like America and are in a hurry to leave India for these paradises.

The common man on the streets of New York could not relate to the fantasy New York in this film. Nor could the cultured and educated intellectual. In short to sum up the political critique of this film: the film is an outright sham.

Moving on to the more minor points of film-making. The director, Khan, has a very promising and vivid visual style, and this observation was not lost on me in his debut film, "Kabul express" The production values of this film are superlative, and this is evident from the opening credit sequence itself. It maintains its slickness throughout. However, the slickness is very self-aware and one soon tires of the endless slow motion shots and the really set-up and choreographed lighting.

The screenplay is overlong, meandering and repetitive. After a while one begins to become frustrated with too much of the same.

The first song is incredibly long, that you actually wait for it to end. This is a shame, because this is probably the best song in the film. The others are a bit lacklustre and often unnecessary.

The acting is for the most part embarrassing. While most actors are passable, the acting of Nitin Mukesh is unforgivable. One wonders if he's there just because he is white. As somebody said earlier he fumbles even the simplest scenes. His attempt at acting brings a lot of unintentional comedy in this film, which completely ruins the more sombre mood it tries to establish at times.

All up: A film which is worth missing, if you're not politically and socially illiterate.


32 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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