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Un-Indian - Film Review

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
I enjoy "fine dining", presenting programs on radios 4MBS, MBS Light and 4RPH and going to drama and music at Brisbane theatres.
Published October 1st 2015
Bollywood meets Aussie Cricketer

Skimming the internet, it is clear that UnIndian is not your average film release. Brett Lee appears to have a massive Indian Twitter following, based on his cricketing prowess, a hit song in India, and several very successful commercials. Tannishtha Chatterjee has been nominated for British Film awards alongside Judie Dench and Anne Hathaway.

This film is on the face of it almost as much a business merger as it is a romance. And the publicity photographs with then Prime Minister Abbott suggest that this film is seen as a Indian Australian diplomatic exercise as well.

Chatterjee in this film is a single mother, to a delightful young girl. Her parents particularly her mother want her to find a suitable Indian husband, and are not impressed when she declares that she can support herself, and when she falls in love with a blonde Australian.

Will she follow her independent streak, or make a sensible arranged marriage? Will Brett's character, after he loses the trust of Tannishtha, by letting her daughter persuade him to be involved in what he perceives as harmful deception, managed to re-gain her affection? Will the devious ex-husband succeed in his dastardly plan? Will Brett's unorthodox teaching methods cause him to lose his job?

Frankly, the plot is as hackneyed, over-engineered and contrived as those questions make it appear. It owes not a little to Bride and Prejudice, My Big Far Greek Wedding and Bend it Like Beckham. Some of the melodrama doesn't quite work. And Brett's acting is at times a little stiff.

Yet, while this film is no "Bend it Like Beckham", it has a charm of its own, and the three main characters, Chaterjee, Brett, and Smitha (the daughter) more than make up for any plot weaknesses.

That said, the "feel-good" ending is, in my humble opinion, completely unbelievable.

Chaterjee and Smitha are delightful and credible, and Brett, for the most part, plays his role well.

I suspect that its lead actors will ensure that it is a success particularly in India and that is a good outcome for a flawed but charming film.
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Why? Charming rom com
When: Currently playing
Where: cinemas across Australia
Cost: $18
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