You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Green Card Fever

The Indian-American immigration dramedy "Green Card Fever" is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a "Coming to America" or "Moscow on the Hudson" -- minus the laughs and endearing characters -- pic seems unlikely to meet with crossover success.

With:
Murali - Vikram Dasu Omjeet - Deep Katdare Bharathi - Purva Bedi Chan - Robert Lin Dada - Subash Kundanmal

The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems unlikely to meet with the crossover success of “Bend It Like Beckham” or the niche popularity of last year’s “American Desi” (which featured “Green Card Fever” stars Deep Katdare and Purva Bedi).

Shot in and around Columbus, Ohio, pic begins with two young Indian men visiting America as part of a cultural exchange program. They decide to stay in the U.S. illegally and begin working a variety of dead-end jobs to support themselves. But when Murali (Vikram Dasu) falls for an American-born girl (the beautiful Bedi) from a well-to-do Indian family, he realizes that to get a better job he must first get a green card — even if that means becoming the pawn of a corrupt immigration attorney (Robert Lin) who is seeking to save his reputation at the expense of a more honest advocate (Katdare).

Title of the pic refers to a scam for issuing green cards. But while much is made of the scheme during the movie’s climactic John Grisham-esque courtroom scene, it isn’t even mentioned prior to it. Pic essentially oscillates between two modes: wide-eyed, naive scenes, in which the just-off-the-boat characters utter such awestruck remarks as “Oh my God. I can’t believe there are so many Indians in America,” and scenes in which Indian-Americans are depicted as either militant rights activists or true-blue American converts who’ve come to regard their ethnic heritage as something reprehensible.

Nonetheless, tyro helmer-scribe Bala Rajasekharunidelivers some lovely, understated scenes in the film, mostly between Dasu and Bedi, as they pursue their rocky courtship. In one of the film’s most tired narrative devices, her parents are intent on marrying her off to a man of their choosing.

A newcomer, Dasu has an ingratiatingly gentle manner that makes Murali sympathetic in spite of the script’s unwieldy convolutions. And he’s quite charming in the romantic scenes with Bedi, who essentially repeats here the kind of thankless role she had in “American Desi.” Pic’s tech package is largely undistinguished, with particularly harsh lighting and uninspired editing. But the musical score by Jefferson Starship’s Pete Sears has a catchy beat, and there’s also an enjoyably folksy ’70s-style ballad by Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”).

Green Card Fever

Production: A Vijay Vaidyanathan presentation of a Net Effect Media production. Produced by Vijay Vaidyanathan. Directed, written by Bala Rajasekharuni.

Crew: Camera (color), Scott Spears; editors, Robert Komatsu, Robin Lee; music, Pete Sears; art director, Michael Tipka; costume designers, Vidhya Bhaskaran, Crystal Parzik; sound, Teresa Eckton, Marilyn McCoppen, Tom Myers; assistant director, Tony Estrada; associate producer, Mark Oliver Rylance. Reviewed at Fotokem, Burbank, Aug. 18, 2003. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Murali - Vikram Dasu Omjeet - Deep Katdare Bharathi - Purva Bedi Chan - Robert Lin Dada - Subash Kundanmal

More Film

  • Jamie FoxxBET Awards, Show, Los Angeles,

    2018 BET Awards: Kendrick Lamar Wins Big at Youth-Centered Show

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • Japan Ramps Up International Film Co-Productions

    Japanese Film Makers Find Opportunities in International Co-Productions

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • Netflix Unveils 'Great Day in Hollywood'

    Netflix Unveils 'Great Day in Hollywood' Image Spot Highlighting Black Creators

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    2018 BET Awards Complete Winners List

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • Tom Holland Uncharted

    Tom Holland Reveals 'Spider-Man 2' Title: 'Far From Home'

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • Palm Springs Shortfest Winners List

    'Fauve' Takes Top Prize at Palm Springs International Shortfest

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

  • The Closing of Magno, the Quintessential

    The Closing of Magno, the Quintessential New York Screening Room

    The Indian-American immigration dramedy “Green Card Fever” is the latest ethnic movie to deliver heavy-handed discussions on racial identity and discrimination. Not unlike a “Coming to America” or “Moscow on the Hudson” — minus the laughs and endearing characters — independently financed and distributed pic (which opened Fridayin a few dozen North American markets) seems […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content