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Guest Movie Review: ABCD

Story: No, this is not another contest winner. However, since I love all things Indian (I know, I know... I love all things Irish, too - I find no conflict here), I wanted to see this Indian film. My friend Sunjit, is an American born Indian agreed to accompany me to this film and to write the review.

And so...ABCD is a the new film by Krutin Patel about ABCDs (American Born Confused Desi's - desi is the Indian word for an Indian). The story is about a widowed mother and her two children, one daughter and one son, both sort of confused, and her quest to get the two of them married to Indians. This confusion arises from Indian children born in the United States caught between trying desperately to fit into an American culture while being governed by Indian parents, who desperately want their children to be more Indian, including marrying Indian spouses. Unlike its more lighthearted predecessor, American Desi, ABCD explores the true psychology of these children caught between the old world and the new world. Also, see the British film East is East on rental.

Acting: Although the acting is weak in certain areas (Faran Tahir as the son, Raj and Madhur Jaffrey as Anju, the mother are both just okay - don't be surprised), Sheetal Shek as the promiscuous Nina is fantastic, and Aasif Mandvi as the fresh-off-the-boat Ashok is terrific. Mandvi has a variety of other credits to his name, but was wonderful in his one man show in New York some years ago, in Sakina's Restaurant, which I pray he does again. Probably the worst acting performance came from Raj's boss. Ugh. Additionally, there is a wonderful scene with an Indian newspaper man, who delivered a short but very tight performance.

Critters: None

Food: Some outdoor Indian food scenes, but they don't capture the beauty of the cuisine.

Visual Art: Some Indian artwork in the form of wall coverings.

Blatant Product Placement: None (except for maybe some Indian foods)

Theater Audience: Surprisingly no Indians, the theater was less that one quarter full.

*Lobo note: I got there about ten minutes before my friend, Sunjit, and was able to see that there were Indians in the theater and that several had bought tickets for showings later on in the day.

Sappy Factor: 2

Predictability Level: 5

Tissue Usage: Some

Oscar Worthy: Oscar worthy for its message, not Oscar worthy for its spotty acting.

Nit Picking: None. Good solid movie.

Big Screen or Rental: You can wait for the rental.

Length: 1 hour 35 minutes

LOBO (Sunjit) HOWLS: 8