Loins of Punjab Presents Reviews
July 22, 2012
A less than humorous cultural comedy with mediocre acting.
August 1, 2010
The first ten minutes are total joke, a hilarious skewering of both sides of the Desi-US divide. The film falls off into standard story after that. The film could have offered more consistent hammering humor, and powerfully lyrical relationship, musical and dance scenes, but loss of directorial and writing focus killed the possibilities. Filmed entirely indoors, in muddy tones, with flat angles and little texture or depth, the visuals aren't enough to take the movie to another level.
There was a lot of potential here. If the direction and writing had been better focused, if the cinematography had been able to escape its low-budget box, this would have been a great film. I kept hoping it would come back and hit the highs of its first ten minutes, but it never did. Even so, for the fun of seeing the villainness lose, for the pure enjoyment of the beautiful voices and songs, and for keeping a viewer's hope for more constantly whetted, this movie is worth a watch.
June 1, 2010
*Note: I actually worked hard on writing this review, but that version got deleted, so forgive me if this review is choppy*
Though it fails to cross the finish line as an impressive, resonating film, it still succeeds to carry good weight through the movie keeping you entertained, interested, and lightly thought-provoked.
A representative of Loins of Punjab, which is a company that claims to be the largest pork company on the east coast collaborates with a producer (Jameel Khan) to start an Indian version of American Idol called "Desi Idol." While the contest is in production, we learn about each of the contestants' backgrounds and their motives for competing. All of these characters are portrayed and presented so clearly they all easily almost become 100% relatable, making the movie that much more enjoyable. Provided that all other elements of the film are too weak to even be recognized, the characters wholly give beauty and color to the film. These colorful characters include a highly-sophisticated, status-concerned woman who uses selfish, malicious tactics to achieve victory of the contest which she believes will ultimately help her build a better, higher reputation in her society (Shabana Azmi), an overprotected but highly-intelligent and talented 17-year old girl who dreams of becoming a professional singer (Ishitta Sharma), a pretty, non-Hindi-speaking young actress who dreams of becoming a Bollywood movie star (Seema Rahmani), an overconfident Bhangra rapper who is seeking fame (Ajay Naidu), a highly intelligent math whiz fond of calculating percentages (Manish Acharya), a non-Indian (white) man fascinated with India and loves singing (Michael Raimondi) and his proudly Indian girlfriend, (Ayesha Dharkar).
As the contest progresses, the cultural attitudes become stronger with the development of the characters. Though highly-exaggerated at times, these events (except for the producer's attitude towards women) can often be correlated with my own experiences, making the film more realistic.
Fortunately I was not able to guess the film's message from the beginning. Being an American-born Indian, I ironically fell victim to the unpredictability of the plot where i should have guessed the actions of the characters.
Overall, the film exposes the colorful Indian-American community and is an OKAY watch; watch if you're bored and are interested in a watching a mockumentary!
November 26, 2009
First it all, do not read this movie as Lions, there are not jungle lions, it is Loins of Punjab presents! It is like any other ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) movie and perfectly blends in this category.
What I loved in the movie is as to how people are dying to participate and create a name for themselves and to what extent they would go to win, but in the end, the purest of all hearts wins the prestigious award.
You always want a reaction from the audience as to how they would react, after the movie. This was my first movie, when we had to react as the director asked the whole audience. The background to this is a whole lot of Indians are participating in the singing competition where the prize is $25000. Most of the contestants are Indians, except one, he participates to impress his Indian girlfriend. He had practices only one song, and didnt know that he would make to the next round, in the next round he sings in Indian National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana... and the director informs us to stand a little advance as the respect that we do give to the anthem. This was completely mind blowing cause you have never asked to do something in the theatre in most non-personal manner.
The characters in the movie are very very stereotypical that you would see, the objectives, the cunningness, the stupidity all just to win the trophy. To name some of them Shabana Azmi, we though she is a vamp, she done her role pretty well; Ayesha Dharker, she is nice and subtle; Darshan Jariwall as the head of Patel family and the accent that everyone uses - brilliant.