"This is a sweet and poignant movie about an interracial relationship. Whites barely enter the picture in this one though; the forbidden relationship is between a black (Denzel Washington) and Indian Mina (Sarita Choudhury), both beautiful people and with onscreen chemistry between them. It's interesting that before their romance, members of each family agreed that Indians and Blacks needed to stick together, because "anyone who isn't white in America is colored", yet after the romance was discovered, Mina's father discourged her, saying that she needed to stick with "her own kind". The theme of racism is brought to fore right at the beginning of the movie, with the banishment of Mina's Indian family from Uganda, a reminder that racism exists in many parts of the world. The family finds safety and economic opportunity in America, yet they never feel quite at home, or quite accepted in American society. However, we also are reminded in the film that as slow as America has been to change in accepting minorities, and even more, interracial relationships, change is occurring. When the couple finds a way to go forward in their life and their relationship, they must make a decision that affects their families. The movie, though it has many delightful moments, shows us that overcoming racial barriers is still a bittersweet process."
BACK WHEN MIRA NAIR WAS STILL A TRUE FILMMAKER
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 08/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a brilliant piece of low-key, realistic movie making, from the days when Mira Nair was making in your face movies such as Salaam Bombay and Mississipi Masala. The first thing admirable about it is Nair's ability to merge three cultures (Uganda, India, & Southern American) into an enchanting love story. An Indian family of a man, his wife and their young daughter Mina are expelled from Uganda under the reign of dictator Amin. The family eventually moves to the U.S. When Mina grows up she finds herself caught in a curious cultural twist and considers herself a mix "masala". She later falls in love with a black carpet cleaner (played immaculately by Denzil) only to stir up a hornet's nest in her family, culture and community.The movie is from 1992, so the mild racism undercurrent may be a bit tired but wasn't when it came out, in fact most of the ironies (e.g., both the lovers are "colored" in different shades) are shown in a light-hearted and dignified manner. The movie has a clutch of hilarious moments as well, which make it an all round fun movie to watch. Both the protagonists, Denzil as the southern man and Sarita Chaudhari as the Indian woman, are actually quite likeable characters and you end up caring about both of them. A very wholesome treat to watch!"
Reginald D. Garrard | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am very impressed with this particular movie. It was well-scripted and the cast is dynamic. Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington are superb actors. Roshan Seth should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Mina's father. This movie really is Mira Nair's shining light.I like the way the movie handles the reactions by both families to the interracial union of Mina and Demetrius. There are very few movies that can capture the emotions that go along with such a sensitive and controversial matter. Most importantly the opinions, thoughts, and traditions, both negative and positive, of both the Indian and Black communities are fairly communicated through the movie. Also, this is probably one of the few movies that brings the horrific realities of Idi Amin Dada's regime to the mainstream. Many people unfortuanately do not know who this maniac was(is) or what he did to Uganda, its people, and the rest of Africa because it is not taught in many schools anymore. This book definately sheds some light on this vital part of world history."
Another Great Film from Mira Nair!
NappyGirl | United States | 08/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of Mira Nair's Oscar nominated SALAAM BOMBAY! will not be disappointed by this unassuming little movie about an interracial romance in Mississippi.Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury are a pleasure to watch in this engaging story about a love affair between a Black man (who's never been to Africa) and an Indian woman (who has never been to India) and how thier romance causes strife in a small Southern town. Washington and Choudhury have amazing chemistry onscreen, transforming this modern day romance into an updated Romeo & Juliet with a spicy twist. The anxiety and strife their union causes among family members and town locals is realistically portrayed without falling into the trap of being being preachy or contrived. Against all this, a subplot in the story revolves around the loss of a homeland and friendship between Choudhury's proud Ugandan national father and the Black Ugandan friend he left behind during Idi Amin's reign of terror.A must see film and the only one I'm aware of that explores the relationship between African Americans and ethnic Indians."
A Lesson to be Learned By ALL!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 12/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mira Nair's film "teaches" without being preachy. The motion picture explores racism in all its ugly forms. The story begins with the expulsion of Indians and other Asians from Uganda because "Africa is for Africans" and brings one family to America (Mississippi, to be exact). There the family, specifically the daughter (Sarita Choudhury) in her relationship with a black man (Denzel Washington) experiences some of the same prejudices faced in Uganda. In one very amusing, yet revealing, series of scenes, various characters "speak" to the screen sharing their opinions about other races, as well as those of the same race with a different skin hue."Masala" is a beautiful film with strong performances by Washington, Choudhury, and veteran actors Roshan Seth and Joe Seneca. The supporting cast also complements a truly entertaining film.Hopefully, the studio that released the film will re-issue it in video form for others to view this fine production."