Loins of Punjab Presents (2007)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A handful of Indian-Americans vie for overnight stardom in a competition for amateur singers in this mockumentary comedy. The Loins of Punjab meat company is sponsoring a televised contest in which fans of Indian pop music will be given the chance to put their talents to the test, with the grand prize winner claiming a 25,000-dollar purse. A diverse array of aspiring singing stars arrive in New Jersey for the competition; some are Indian émigrés who've made their way to America, others were born in the United States to South Asian parents, and one is a Jewish guy, Josh Cohen (Michael Raimondi), who picked up his fondness for Indian music from his girlfriend, Opama (Ayesha Dharker). Other contestants include Sania Rahman (Seema Rahmani), a would-be actress often accused of not being Indian enough by casting agents; financial advisor Vikram Tejwani (Manish Acharya), who is out of work now that his job has been outsourced to India; a militant gay rap artist who calls himself The Turbanotorious BDG (Ajay Naidu); Preeti Patel (Ishitta Sharma), a teenage girl who just wants to be noticed by her large and growing family; and Rrita Kapoor (Shabana Azmi), a wealthy and unscrupulous housewife who isn't above bribing the judges with money or sex. Loins of Punjab Presents was the first feature film from writer and director Manish Acharya, who also plays Vikram.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Shabana Azmi
as Rrita Kapoor
Darshan Jariwala
as Sanjeev Patel
Ishitta Sharma
as Preeti Patel
Michael Raimondi
as Josh Cohen
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Critic Reviews for Loins of Punjab Presents

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (6)

It's frightfully formulaic, with nary a twist or turn on the patented mockumentary form.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

An uninspired cultural comedy with a few sharp lines to recommend it.

Full Review… | November 7, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The zany incomprehensibility of the title should serve as fair warning of the quirkfest to come.

Full Review… | November 6, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The cast is personable even though their characters and the story are cliched.

Full Review… | September 12, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Joins show-time antics to sociocultural commentary without reducing its characters, colorful as they are, to cartoons.

Full Review… | September 12, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

The concept is witty even if many jokes fall flat or are incomprehensible to outsiders, and it's an interesting angle on the inclusive ideal pitted against ethnic authenticity.

Full Review… | March 20, 2009
Oregonian

Audience Reviews for Loins of Punjab Presents

½

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.

Heath Quinn
Heath Quinn

*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!

Komal Saini
Komal Saini

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