Basmati Blues

 (82)
3.61 h 46 min201813+
In this lighthearted, romantic musical, idealistic scientist Linda (Academy Award Winner Brie Larson from Captain Marvel) is sent to India to sell the local farmers on a new kind of genetically modified rice. As she finds her footing amidst a new land and new customs, she begins to fall in love with local rice farmer Rajit (Utkarsh Ambudkar from Pitch Perfect).
Directors
Danny Baron
Starring
Brie LarsonUtkarsh AmbudkarScott Bakula
Genres
ComedyArts, Entertainment, and Culture
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
Donald Sutherland
Studio
Shout! Factory
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

82 global ratings

  1. 38% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 22% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 15% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 15% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Sakuno-chanReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
good clean fun, nice songs and entertaining
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It wasn't an epic movie, but it was good clean fun and entertaining. We need more movies like this. If every movie was epic, we wouldn't know what an epic movie was anymore and you aren't always in the mood for something supremely amazing either, sometimes you just want some simple entertainment and this movie delivers that. It was simple and clean fun without violence, sex scenes and cursing or anything else thrown into what should be a clean movie just to give it something "edgy."

I love musicals and again, while it wasn't epic songs like Singing in the Rain or The Sound of Music, it was entertaining. The song lyrics were decently sweet and clever and the tunes were catchy. Movies with singing and dancing are always a huge plus in my book.

I really like cultural mixture movies too, I wish there were more of those as well, yes they tend to bend cultural accuracy, but at least it's a breath of fresh air from the usual. I also really enjoyed the fact that they exposed some of the big problems with GMO.

All in all, I would watch this movie again, and I would love to see more movies like this.
22 people found this helpful
NewMexicoKidReviewed in the United States on September 8, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Not quite Bollywood, but surprisingly good
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I confess that I decided to watch this movie because the premise seemed so wacky: a musical with Brie Larson as a rice scientist duped into selling rice farmers in India special rice. And the opening song definitely feels a bit forced. La La Land this is not.
That being said, you should be patient with this movie. Give it time to grow on you. The leads are charming, they sing well and have genuine chemistry together. Will this ever be considered a classic? Probably not. But it makes for a pleasant watch. Listening to Donald Sutherland (as the villainous CEO) and Tyne Daly (with a still powerful voice) sing about corporate greed was quite enjoyable.
13 people found this helpful
T.G.D.Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
A pretty good musical, undeservedly maligned.
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It’s very easy to call something racist these days for a variety of reasons. It’s very important though that the word racist to not be confused with the word ignorant. Yes, ignorance can easily lead to racism, but they are never, ever the same things. That being, said, having just watched Basmati Blues for myself so that I could form my own opinion, I thought it was one of the better musicals I’ve seen and honestly I don’t think there was a racist bone in this movie’s body.

Bear in mind however that I also fully admit that I am not an expert on the culture of India or its people, so I cannot honestly vouch for the accuracy or inaccuracy of the details in this film. All I know is that it did not leave me with a negative or diminished opinion of the people of India. If I am being honest it probably left me with a better opinion of the people of India. I consider myself a novice when it comes to such issues, so I certainly consider myself to be at least somewhat sensitive to racism in the movies.

A scientist named Linda(Brie Larson) finds herself in India when it turns out she is going to be growing a new kind of rice for the farmers to plant. Linda arrives there, with no preconceived notions of how things are going to be, so its only natural that she’s not aware of everything she needs to know for communicating and interacting with the people there. Remember, ignorance does not equal racism.

Linda meets Rajit, a man she met on the train who she quickly becomes sweet on. Of course this romance has quite a few ups and downs throughout the film, but the major issue of the film is about focusing on growing all this rice, and getting the farmers to sign the contracts from Mogil, which we learn fairly early on is corrupt and intent on taking advantage of the farmers of India. Now if there’s anybody in the film who you might want to call racist, it’s the evil white rich head of a corrupt worldwide conglomerate(portrayed by Donald Sutherland with Tyne Daly as his assistant)
I also have to admit, the music wasn’t bad either. I very rarely found myself cringing during any of the musical numbers. In fact, I didn’t really cringe at all, mostly because before I started watching this thing I was already fully aware this is a musical! I also did like the foreshadowing at the beginning where somebody suggest that Linda should learn to ride a horse.

At the end, Linda realizes what a HUGE mistake she’s made because she doesn’t realize until almost the end that Mogil is going to take advantage of these people, so just like Captain Marvel she takes matters into her own hands to fix the mistake she made(I know, how racist, right?).

With Mogil seemingly beat and all the contracts burned, Linda and Rajit get married in a very festive wedding scene. You know what? I’m like… WOW… this thing got maligned by critics? You know I admit maybe I am missing something but god dammit this was a good movie, even for a musical. The character of Linda is NOT a white savior, she is somebody who sees herself as doing good things for her fellow man(I know, how racist, right?) in an attempt to better the world, not get her name written in the history books.

What really motivated me to check out this movie was in part my love of Brie Larson. I think she is awesome as Captain Marvel and I just feel so sad that so many people seem to have this irrational animosity against the actress portraying her. As far as musicals go, I would have to give this one a pretty good grade.

I think in the end the main message I took away from the movie is that it’s possible to find happiness, anywhere. You don’t need to interfere with the cycle of nature for the world to be a beautiful, wonderful place.
5 people found this helpful
K EspinosaReviewed in the United States on August 23, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Solid, enjoyable movie that was unjustly maligned
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The backlash against Basmati Blues is, at best, uninformed. Those who trashed it as being a "white savior of a less sophisticated people" movie seem to be basing their reviews/comments not on the movie itself, only on the trailers.

I definitely see how the trailers can  lead to that impression of the movie. They are badly done, and very misleading (I read that director hated them, but was not allowed any input), but that doesn't excuse people from trashing a movie they haven't seen. Unfortunately, the movie failed because of this.

With that off my chest, I'll say a little about the movie itself. It's a light romantic comedy with a social conscience. The acting in general is strong (especially Larson, Ambudkar, and some of the supporting Indian actors). Far from being another "white savior" plot, it is really about: (1) a woman who falls in love with a region of India through what she sees and learns about the place and its people; (2) a romance between two people negotiating the differences between their respective cultures, trying to bring the best of each to their relationship (this is portrayed as a genuine obstacle, not just as something cute and funny); and (3) corporate greed and exploitation of farmers, which is successfully challenged and defeated only through the pooled, complementary knowledge, resources, and efforts of Indians and Americans. Of course, there is a feel-good ending.

I'm not usually that into musicals, but most of the songs are pretty good, and I liked 3 of them enough to buy on Amazon.

The only significant thing that I disliked about the movie is the evil corporate stuff (Donald Southerland, especially, who I usually really like), which is over-the-top and cartoonish in a way that seems out of place in this movie. It would have been better if corporate evil hadn't been such a straw man.

Basmati Blues is a good, solid, enjoyable movie that should have been given a chance with the public.
3 people found this helpful
Paul F. HeneganReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Hits, then misses
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Overall, this is an enjoyable mashup of Broadway and Bollywood, except when it tries too hard to touch all the bases.

What I take away from the overall theme is not so much that GMO is an ecological danger, but rather it is obnoxious because of the false promises economically it has made to date.

I am amused by the SJW crowd who were so quick to insert racialist views into a space where characters and archetypes, not stereotypes, were the main vectors for the story.

There are a number of highlights that are dramatic, cinematographic, witty, pointed, and delightfully silly. Unfortunately, there are a number of irrelevant details that are silly and disruptive.

Linda has an epiphany that sometimes enthusiasm for the evidence is more important than the evidence itself; it's too bad that the director didn't prune some of the dead wood from this cut according to the same principle. Especially in a musical, too much explaining can often get in the way of an audience's imagination.

The songs aren't particularly memorable, yet they are well crafted and well performed. This in itself is worth the price of admission, when so many "musicals" are perversely "creative" to the point of being naff.

I give this three stars not because it is bad, but rather because it is a solid attempt at something that could have been more convincing.
5 people found this helpful
Bhatta's ReviewsReviewed in the United States on October 25, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Is this a musical? Brie Larson had a lot of fun!
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Well well well.. was this supposed to be a Musical? like what we see in other Bollywood movies? but since the singing part is in 'English' language it looks & sounds weird. Bollywood has been making movies with songs for several generations and have always played a vital role in creating hit Bollywood movies this one on the other hand attempts to be one but fails to mesmerize me. BTW, If you ignore the songs in the movie and skip past them the movie actually is not that bad.

The movie looks very silly in most ways. It is actually a failed musical but comedy. The real observation after watching the movie it is clear that Brie Larson did have a lot of fun in this movie shooting in India and it clearly shows the excitement in her face and while acting. She has received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award, among other accolades, for her performance in [[ASIN:B016PIL6AS Room]] which is available for rent on Amazon. I am glad she had fun and did something out of the [[ASIN:B016PIL6AS room]] but that does not mean the movie is as great as the movie [[ASIN:B016PIL6AS room]]

Rating the movie with generous three stars!
3 people found this helpful
Michelle C.Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
An underrated Fun, fantastic, movie with beautiful scener
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This is an excellent movie! I can't figure out why it got such bad reviews. It is a musical, so be prepared for that. But is has a lot of dialogue as well, along with comedic antics that Brie pulls of perfectly! And I must say, the songs WILL stick w you! The director does a fantastic job of interspersing comedy, environmental issues, India's history, and even romance into one movie that will leave you smiling. Might I add, Brie Larson has a beaUtiful voice. Give it A chance
One person found this helpful
Jakia NurReviewed in the United States on October 24, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
This movie was just bad...
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This movie was extremely disappointing. It gives an unrealistic depiction of India. Everyone in India do not speak fluent English including the street vendors and rice farmers. There would have been more of an impact if the characters spoke in Hindi with English subtitles when they are in India with the main characters speaking in English. The musical aspect of the movie did not feel natural or flow whatsoever. Random singing and dancing where singing and dancing is not necessary. The plot is very boring and slow as well. I kept watching hoping it would pick up but it never did! You'd be better off watching a real Bollywood movie...
3 people found this helpful
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