Cross-cultural identity gets a light going-over in "Namastey London," as a spoiled U.K.-born desi battles her parents’ attempts to marry her off to a Punjabi farmer. Boosted by a full-on perf from Anglo-Indian actress Katrina Kaif, but let down in the script department, this slice of formulaic Bollywood fluff looks set for moderate business.

Cross-cultural identity gets a light going-over in “Namastey London,” as a spoiled U.K.-born desi battles her parents’ attempts to marry her off to a Punjabi farmer. Boosted by a full-on perf from Anglo-Indian actress Katrina Kaif, but let down in the script department, this slice of formulaic Bollywood fluff looks set for moderate business. Helmer Vipul Amrutlal Shah did better work when teamed with Gujarati writer Aatish Kapadia (“Aankhen,” “Waqt”).

Kaif plays Jasmeet (“Jazz”) Singh, who’s carted off by her father (Rishi Kapoor) to his native Punjab village when he reckons she’s become too Westernized. There, she’s courted by hunky farmer boy Arjun (Akshay Kumar, miscast) and agrees to go through a marriage ceremony. Back in London, Jazz declares the ceremony isn’t valid under British law and continues dating rich Brit smoothie Charlie Brown (Clive Standen) while Arjun hovers patiently in the background. Meanwhile, Jazz’s Pakistani friend, Imran (Upen Patel), is having similar parental problems in his romance with upper-class English babe Susan (Tiffany Mulheron, from Brit soap “Hollyoaks”). Best material (and humor) is in the Punjab scenes. Six musical numbers are just OK, tech credits pro.

Namastey London

India

Production

An Eros Intl. release of an Adlabs Films presentation of a Blockbuster Movie Entertainers production. (International sales: Eros, London.) Produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah. Executive producer, Preety Bubna Ali. Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah. Screenplay, Suresh Nair, Ritesh Shah; story, Nair.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Jonathan Bloom; editors, Amitabh Shukla, Sanjay Sharma; background music, Salim-Sulaiman; song music, Himesh Reshammiya; lyrics, Javed Akhtar; production designer, Paul Burns; supervising art director, Debbie Burton; art directors, Jayant Desmukh (India), Rupert Allen (London); costume designers, Alison Forbes, Rocky S, Shabinaa Khan, Vikram Phadnis. Reviewed at Soho Screening Rooms, London, March 20, 2007. Hindi, Punjabi, English dialogue. Running time: 136 MIN. (I: 66 MIN.; II: 70 MIN.)

With

Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Upen Patel, Javed Sheikh, Ritesh Deshmukh, Tiffany Mulheron, Clive Standen, Shaana Diya, Liam Evans Ford, Richard Field, Paul Williamson.
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