Director: Anupam Sharma
Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Brett Lee, Supriya Pathak
Rating: 2 / 5
I went into UnIndian with scepticism. The dodgy history of cricketers-turned-actors didn’t bode well for Brett Lee — think of Vinod Kambli, Sandeep Patil or Ajay Jadeja.
The good news is that Lee isn’t half bad. He is affable and natural in front of the camera — you just have to ignore the clunky dancing.
The problem is that the film — about an Indian single mom and an Aussie English teacher, Will, who fall in love in Sydney — is a tedious collection of clichés. We’ve got the overbearing Indian mother, the inquisitive Indian aunt, the single mom Meera (Tannishtha Chatterjee) who is juggling career, parenting and matchmaking attempts by friends and family, the arrogant Indian doctor suitor, the rain-that-leads-to-lovemaking scene and even the last ditch-airport chase. It’s an absolute slog.
Watch the trailer of UnIndian here:
Director Anupam Sharma and writer Tushy Sathi are trying to capture the Indian experience in Australia. These folks are, as Meera puts it, not Australian enough for Australia and not Indian enough for India anymore. But UnIndian doesn’t delve deeper than this line of dialogue; the plot is pure formula peppered with the usual exotica — a Holi party, a spiritual guru with dreadlocks who dispenses advice like ‘Listen to your heart’ and even a Bollywood film.
There is a supremely bizarre moment in which Will is watching the 2014 Hindi movie Kick and imagines himself and Meera in place of Salman and Jacqueline Fernandez in the song, ‘Jumme ki raat hai’. It’s very awkward.
Tannishtha is a lovely actress. She gives Meera more depth than the script offers. The young debutant Maya Sathi, who plays Meera’s daughter, is also very good. But the actors can’t rise above the sloppy writing. And I was sad to see the talented Supriya Pathak reduced to a stereotype.
UnIndian has stray moments of warmth and humour, but it’s just not enough. I am interested to see what Mr. Lee does next, though.