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Reviewer: Anu Mandapati
American Desi

American Desi

Cast: Deep Katdare, Purva Bedi, Anil Kumar, Ronobir Lahiri, Kal Penn, Rizwan Manzi, Sunita Param & Alladdin
Director: Piyush Dinker Pandya
Producer: Deep Katdare, Gitesh Pandya, Piyush Dinker Pandya
Released by Eros Entertainment


The main character named Kris(hna) Reddy is a very eye-appealing addition to the movie :) and don't worry for all you guys --the girl is pretty too. The movie is **very funny** and has so many --only an Indian would understand that-- jokes. My other telugu friend and I did think it was kind of dumb that the Reddy family called each other betta, betti, and bhaiya and spoke only hindi and not a word of telugu, but we understand why the producers did it that way. I guess I should be happy that his last name was Reddy as opposed to Patel, Shah, or Mehta. :)

Interestingly, this movie did point out something of significance to me. Majoring in counseling psychology, we have discussed the impact of same ethnicity portrayals in the media several times in our classes. But it was usually with respect to just the Hispanic and Black cultures. (Asians and especially Indians usually get ignored in A LOT of minority-related and minority-based research.) Anyways, the NAACP for several years has been lobbying for more minority actors on tv. So about a year ago(?) NAACP officials met with the major networks and now we have a (few) more colored folks out there. One of the many reasons for doing this is that children growing up watching tv programs with individuals who are of the same race as them seem to have a clearer ethnic identity, a better self-esteem, and a higher self-confidence. Of course, many factors play into establishing identity, self-esteem, and self-confidence but this is definitely a positive influence.

I am sure most of you have heard about the research studies where children in the sixties where asked to choose the "pretty doll" they wanted to play with. They were given an aesthetically pleasing black doll and white doll. Most of the black children choose the white doll. When asked why, researchers found that the impact of a racist society was well engrained in the children's minds-- meaning the black children thought the black dolls were ugly because they didn't fit into white societal standards of beauty and hence did not choose them. Forget the color of your favorite doll, but can you imagine what other areas of life might be affected by this? Today, we don't have to go through as much as people in the 60's had to; racism today in most cases is so much more subtle and less likely to prove. But the point---same ethnicity portrayals in the media have helped in hispanic and black cultures.

Getting back to American Desi and my point, the movie was very real and something that most of us would be able to relate to. The girl sitting next to me said "Hey they're just like us!" And I just thought if we had more movies like this while I was growing up, it would have been a lot nicer because I would have been able to connect to the characters and see things on the big screen that are part of OUR culture, that you would never see in any other movie. I hope there will be tons and tons of movies like this in the future :) --for all age groups, so the Indian kids of today will have them.

Reviewed by Anu Mandapati >>>
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