There’s something about ensemble movies with parallel storylines that just makes them appealing in a looking-forward, rubbing-hands-with-glee kind of way. Maybe it’s just something to do with us being Indians – the whole ‘getting more in one pack’ deal. Or maybe it’s exciting to see one director’s multiple takes on one issue. But mostly, it’s just the way it all comes together so perfectly in the end. And when it’s ‘love’ we are talking about, we are just watching the movie to get to the happy ending anyway, aren’t we?
Before Nikhil Advani tried (and spectacularly failed at) desi-fying Love Actually, US-based engineers-turned-directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK attempted the intertwined, multiple-stories romantic comedy structure with an indie flick called Flavors. And it is not just the novelty of this cross cultural comedy that made this movie a happy film-watching experience, but also the charm with which the two directors pulled off each story about love.
Flavors has 13 central characters in five parallel storylines, all Non Resident Indians in USA, except that each one of them is like any of us. None of these stories are too original – but then, barring bizarre romances like Twilight or ahem, 2050 A Love Story, you can’t really call rom-coms ‘original’, can you?
So there’s a story about two best friends who love each other but don’t know it, one about an American bahu trying to fit in with her Indian in-laws, a story about a newly wedded couple figuring this whole marriage business out, a hilarious one about a jobless engineer’s obsession with a girl and one about his three roommates who really don’t seem to know what they want, like the rest of us.
Where Flavors succeeds and other rom-coms fail, is in its writing – the movie is rollicking, fast-paced fun with real and witty dialogues, in situations that we’ve all been through (especially the hilarious end to the jobless engineer’s story!). Watch Flavors because it is one of the only Indian-American films that stays funny without caricaturing desis and their accents and because it is actually ‘crossover’ without being called so, just because a Bollywood star told his daddy that he wants to go to Hollywood.
Starring: Reef Karim, Pooja Kumar, Anjan Srivastav, Rishma Malik, Bharti Achrekar, Gaurang Vyas
Written By: Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru and Mohit Rajhans
Directed By: Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru
Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, February 2011 issue
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