Bollywood goes Hollywood –well, actually Amerindie — in “The Gold Bracelet,” multihyphenate Kavi Raz’s drama about an emigre Los Angeles family whose fortunes spiral amid post-9/11 prejudice. Theme will strike a chord among Indian-American viewers, heightening prospects on the Stateside B’wood circuit and in DVD release. Whether it can lure homeland patrons is an open question, while crossover to wider U.S. auds is unlikely due to the pic’s eventual heavy turn toward melodrama. Film was co-winner of the Audience Award at Cinequest.
Arjun Singh (Raz) and wife Baljit (Archana Puran Singh) live in U.S. suburbs, clucking over the thoroughly Westernized mindsets of their grown children still living with them — son Ranjit (Arsh Singh), who chafes against wearing a traditional turban and beard; and over-studious daughter Simrun (Mehrunissa Hassan). The children’s romantic prospects dominate the pic’s warmly comic first half, punctuated by a couple of charming (if poorly camera-blocked) musical numbers. But after 9/11, the family is treated differently, even though the Singhs are Sikh, not Muslim; and Indian, not Arabic. Story (which sports some narrative gaps and underdeveloped subplots) turns tear-jerkingly tragic, in pointed, rather ham-fisted fashion. Tech package is decent.