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Film Review - Basmati Blues (2018)

Film Reel

Watching this film was a chore at times but I actually had fun with it, which I honestly wasn't expecting. Don't take that as a recommendation, it's really not. This really is a terrible film. The plot is extremely predictable and frankly offensively preachy at times. It would have been nice to see a film tackling the very real issues of corporate control over designer crops but sadly the film doesn't tackle the topic well having the corporate reps becoming literal cartoon villains by the end. The acting is generally terrible throughout, with almost none of the lines being delivered convincingly and with zero subtlety or nuance from anyone in the cast.

Now as a cautionary tale of "don't trust corporation", it's pretty much a by the book endeavour. Prepare to be offended regardless of what side you're on as the film that wants to paint the white westerner as a money hungry arsehole (even going so far as to name the company "Mogil"), while painting the average Indian farmer as a gullible idiot that needs to be saved by the virtuous white woman. It doesn't want to actually cover the reality of the situation and create a discourse over genetically modified foods; which would be a useful thing. Nor does the film want to tell a decent compelling story. Rather this is in effect a political propaganda piece from the same kind of people who refer to GM crops and "frankenfoods" and it has about as much substance as you'd expect given that.

The crow-barring of a love triangle romance plot into this film wasn't just predictable it was so trite and trope laden I could have used it as the basis for a drinking game. To call this a "chick flick" would be insulting to women who enjoy soppy romance; because at least the soppy romance has some level of emotional commitment to it. This film has none.

So if the acting is as terrible as i claim, the plot is so predictable and banal, and the message as mis-managed as i claim. How did I have fun with this film?

DVD Cover

The only thing making this film tolerable, and it made me choke a little to admit this, is Brie Larson. While her acting is far from brilliant, there's a genuine sense of innocent fun here that anyone familiar with her today would describe as completely out of character for her. It's clear this film was kept back a few years as while it was released in 2018, I believe it was filmed as early as 2013 and it shows. The younger and more likeable Brie Larson is a delight to watch in a way I never expected.

She lights up throughout this film and is extremely cute at times. Brie Larson is an incredibly beautiful woman here, which makes the love triangle believable as she genuinely could turn heads; she's also adorably sweet. She smiles so much during this film, she seems to actually care, and my god that girl can sing. As daft as it sounds, this film is actually a musical though there's less singing than you might expect. Brie Larson honestly has an enchanting voice that rings of genuine joy, innocence, and compassion. I get a very real impression that she's happy when she's singing and it really does bring a smile to my face.

Sadly, I have to tell people; don't watch this film. It's a terrible terrible film. But I find it interesting that such an unlikable bitter person like Brie Larson could be in something like this so recently and come across so well. If I didn't already know how horrible of a person she was, I could very well see this sparking a new celebrity crush, personally. Brie was legitimately adorable back then. It's such a shame that the film was such hot garbage. It's an even greater shame that the person became hot garbage too.