Indian Fish in American Waters

Let’s see, the microphone dipped and appeared onscreen in several shots, the acting was too low key by some actors and too over the top by others, and worst of all, the whole direction the film takes hinges on a misunderstanding that could have easily been cleared up way earlier than it was.

This film is the directorial debut of Manish Gupta, and stars Raj Vasudeva as the recently arrived IT engineer  Naveen Reddy, and Shweta Malhotra as Megha, the 2nd gen girl of Gujurati origin who meets and falls in love with him.   Along the way, Naveen is treated badly by his exploitative boss, Bobby Patel, who warns him  off Indian-American girls as “too much to handle.”   There are assorted friends on both sides, including Rushi, who refers to FOBs not as “Eff-Oh-Bees,” but rather “fobs”, and tells of responding to one who asked her what time it was, only to  find the hapless guy  instantly smitten with her.   Ugh.

The two lead actors are the only ones who engender any believability for how they handle themselves in their roles.   The rest of the film screams “First time attempt.”   And it succumbs to the worst error that some Hindi movies make, which is dragging out a plot twist.  

In this film, someone lies and leads Megha and her family to believe that Naveen is married already, the wife  back in India while  he  looks for a U.S. girl for a green card.   Had this been real life, I can’t believe that no one would have actually said to Naveen much earlier on “How could you be married and lie about it?”   Instead, after  2 or 3 (I lost count) encounters after the erroneous tip surfaces, all that was said by the actors were  frustratingly vague, indirect statements, going nowhere near the actual issue at hand, when you know someone really should have burst out the truth in anger.  

See it or skip it?

Skip it.

10 thoughts on “Indian Fish in American Waters

  1. If you watch it with the understanding that it was made during the first wave of nri movies in the early 1990’s, its pretty good. Its obviously low budget, but it was one of the leading films that paved the way for bigger budget films to be made.

    1. Rita, I know it was an early attempt, but if you consider it alongside “American Desi”, which came out two years earlier (in 2001), there’s no comparison.

      The latter, also an early attempt for both the filmmaker and many of the actors was much more polished and at ease in its own skin. I feel that “Indian Fish” and several of the other NRI/2nd gen films that were made around then suffered from a lot of self-consciousness.

    2. Rita, I agree with you. Indian Fish was one of the pioneers of Desi movies and in that vein was a decent film. Probably not fair to compare it to American Desi which had a significantly larger budget and mainstream backing.

  2. Hi Shweta (megha),
    Amazing acting…i just saw it in netflix…good job…u should try more movies …..keep up the good wrk….
    bye n tk care…hope 2 see u sumtime…

  3. Hey,
    Just saw this, not even sure if anyone will see my response, but you should rent it. It makes for a great laugh since it is a bit absurd.
    Shweta Malhotra (megha in indian fish)

    1. Want. More. Movies 🙂 Lady, I hope you are doing more movies, your character and real life persona (from the interview on the dvd) are very affecting 🙂 I know its close to 10 years since the movie was made, but I just rented it and it has kept me up all night.. two thumbs up!

  4. Oh no, I guess Ebert would call it an “idiot plot.” Too bad, I was kind of looking forward to it on Netflix. Maybe I’ll still see it for a laugh…

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