27 March 2002 | mgressma
A good first effort.
"American Chai" is a good effort by first time director Anurag Mehta. He also wrote the screenplay, which is OK, but not noteworthy in any way. There's nothing new to the story, a boy pursuing his dream of becoming a musician, even though his father wants him to be a doctor. The value of the film lies in the other conflict, between cultures. The American born son, Sureel, is all American, whereas the father still adheres to many Indian traditions. The film provides a tiny glimpse into this American/Indian culture.
Aalok Mehta, Anurag's real life brother, plays Sureel. To put it mildly, I think his acting leaves a lot to be desired. He's not alone in this regard. Aside from Paresh Rawal, who plays the father, most of the performances were merely adequate. This is not surprising, in that, Rawal is an accomplished performer in India.
The music was good, and I think Aalok has a future there, but otherwise, this is just a run-of-mill movie.