6.3/10
305
23 user 11 critic

American Chai (2001)

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 »

Director:

Anurag Mehta

Writer:

Anurag Mehta

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aalok Mehta Aalok Mehta ... Sureel
Sheetal Sheth ... Maya
Aasif Mandvi ... Engineering Sam
Josh Ackerman ... Toby
Ajay Naidu ... Hari
Paresh Rawal ... Sureel's Dad
Bharti Desai Bharti Desai ... Sureel's Mom
Akshay Oberoi ... Neel
Rajiv Reddy Rajiv Reddy ... Young Sureel
Jamie Hurley ... Jen
Reena Shah ... Sejal
Anand Chulani Anand Chulani ... Raju
Jill Anderson Jill Anderson ... Lisa
Kyle Koehl Kyle Koehl ... Young Boy
Marlee Kattler 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

Taglines:

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

Official Sites:

Fusion Films

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hari: Don't worry, chicken curry...
See more »

Connections

References The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

capra goes to bollywood
5 May 2001 | by mwaSee all my reviews

I thought this was a sweet, endearing portrayal of a classic immigrants` dilemma: the struggle to balance assimilation and alienation. The performances and direction were very good; what bothered me most about it was the over-reliance on cliched formulae: boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-almost-gets-girl, a la Woody Allen`s Manhattan; outrage at arranged marriage, a la a range of British south-asian flicks, not to mention Fiddler on the Roof; and pure Capracorn. i know that the American dream is a motivating force of great power, but this movie embodies a go-go 90s blind optimism, which borders on the cloying. Character motivation for the finale is completely unconvincing, nearing deus-ex-machina levels of ineffability. Yet, as a clever and highly commercializable ethnic formula-pic, it is a hit. The blandness and conformity of the engineers and doctors, which the film so openly derides, has seeped into this project as well. But this is the kind of treacle which will probably make a small wave. At least the director`s brother and lead male, Mr. Mehta, will! But, tell me, how is this different from the stories of immigrants from dozens of other cultures? I beg other readers to name some. Finally, and most disappointingly, I learned little about India or Indians from this movie. So, though i applaud the effort to tell the American uber-tale from yet another angle, I found myself wishing it weren`t so predictable and cliched.


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