23 user 12 critic

ABCD (1999)

Unrated | | Drama | 12 October 2000 (USA)
The only goal of an ageing Asian-American widow is to see her son and rebellious daughter (described as an American Born Confused Deshi or ABCD) married off to respectable Indian families.


Krutin Patel


James McManus, Krutin Patel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a capable dancer is provoked by the evil design of his employer, naturally he will be out to prove his mettle.

Director: Remo D'Souza
Stars: Prabhu Deva, Ganesh Acharya, Kay Kay Menon
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Based on the true story of the Fictitious Dance group; their rise to fame, sudden downfall, and their heroic attempt to seek vindication by regaining their lost pride and glory.

Director: Remo D'Souza
Stars: Prabhu Deva, Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The journey of two young American Malayalees to their Motherland.

Director: Martin Prakkat
Stars: Dulquer Salmaan, Jacob Gregory, Aparna Gopinath
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sheetal Sheth, John Carroll Lynch
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A drama centered on two women who engage in a dangerous relationship during South Africa's apartheid era.

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Parvin Dabas
Director: Tanuj Chopra
Stars: Hal Ozsan, Leonardo Nam, Sheetal Sheth


Cast overview, first billed only:
Madhur Jaffrey ... Anju
Faran Tahir ... Raj
Sheetal Sheth ... Nina
Aasif Mandvi ... Ashok
David Ari ... Brian
Jennifer Dorr White ... Julia
Adriane Forlana Erdos Adriane Forlana Erdos ... Tejal
Rex Young Rex Young ... Sam
Gil Grail Gil Grail ... Mark
Bob Bonnet Bob Bonnet ... Cop
Alexander Lasky Alexander Lasky ... Gordon
David Mann David Mann ... Tony
Janan Raouf ... Jennifer
Vince Byrne Sr. Vince Byrne Sr. ... MacKenzie
Nicki Cochrane Nicki Cochrane ... Asha


The only goal of an ageing Asian-American widow is to see her son and rebellious daughter (described as an American Born Confused Deshi or ABCD) married off to respectable Indian families.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Its about choices!






Official Sites:

Laxmi / The Business





Release Date:

12 October 2000 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,372, 2 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Laxmi Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title stands for "American Born Confused Desi" (pronounced "Deshi" in the film. The confusion refers to the clash of cultural identities and Desi to a person of South Asian descent. Variations on the term extend the acronym to all letters of the alphabet, from A to Z. See more »


References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

In Search of the Great Indian-American Movie
6 December 2001 | by snshSee all my reviews

ABCD is not only the best Indian-American experience film yet, it is an outstanding movie in its own right. It is a serious, often heart-wrenching story about the family of an Indian widow and her unsettled US-raised children.

Be aware that ABCD is not Bollywood; there is no singing, no dancing, no comic relief, no villain, no hero.

I have to compare ABCD to other recent Indian-American films such as American Desi, Hyderabad Blues, and Bombay Boys. In contrast, American Desi is a comedy, often crossing the threshold into the Bollywood "stupid comedy" zone. Hyderabad Blues is more serious than American Desi but is still a comedy -- I value it mainly for entertainment value. I haven't watched Bombay Boys which I've heard is "okay." All these films are coming-of-age movies about the second-generation NRI.

Unlike the other films, ABCD gives serious attention to the first-generation and not just the second. The Indian mother, Anju, lives in the worst of both worlds. Her husband has passed away, her extended family is still in India, and her children cannot please her and find happiness at the same time. To its credit, the script portrays her suffering (and everyone's suffering) without trying to solve it.

ABCD also dwells on the American "ferengi" point of view. The American characters earnestly try to relate to the desi characters, but they are distracted by the exotic veneer and have difficulty seeing through.

The performances in ABCD are believable, and the writing is often a treat with the characters saying unexpectedly intelligent things.

The cinematography and sound in this film are first-rate -- there is no evidence that the movie was produced on a low budget. However, watching the movie at my local Indian cinema, there was a lot of electrical noise in the audio (from playing the analog track on the celluloid?) and the framing was awful -- whenever the camera zoomed in on someone's face, the person's mouth got chopped off!! I suspect this was the theater's fault, however, and not the filmmaker's.

The tagline for the film is "It's about choices" which I think sells the film short. The film is a rich blend of choice and fate; the characters may face choices in the end, but the film is about the fate that brought them there.

Basically there is A LOT to the movie ABCD. For FOB's and ABCD's alike, I think the movie is a must see (at least until the next great Indian-American movie comes along...)

6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed