×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Punching at the Sun

That "Punching at the Sun's" immigrant characters are South Asian isn't enough of a riff on the anguished, inner-city coming-of-age story to offer anything new, but tyro helmer Tanuj Chopra's fresh style and a cast of brash actors straight out of Gotham could grab the attention of young urban auds given half a chance.

With:
Mameet - Misu Khan Shawni - Nina Edmonds Dia - Ferdusy Dia Parnav - Kazi Rahman Ritesh - Taran Singh Sanjay - Mohammad Mirza Uncle Sonny - Hassan El-Gendi

That “Punching at the Sun’s” immigrant characters are South Asian isn’t enough of a riff on the anguished, inner-city coming-of-age story to offer anything new, but tyro helmer Tanuj Chopra’s fresh style and a cast of brash actors straight out of Gotham could grab the attention of young urban auds given half a chance.

Boldly assertive about its ethnic characters (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan), “Punching at the Sun” has at its center angry young man Mameet (the charismatic Misu Khan), who has long lived in the shadow of his basketball legend brother, Sanjay (Mohammad Mirza).When Sanjay is killed during a robbery at the family store, Mameet’s profound grief and need to define himself make him a character of unusual complexity, especially in a story that can’t help but hew close to the hoary conventions of teenage angst.Mameet’s consternation is often self defeating. His coach benches him, his relations with his family deteriorate and the appearance of a gun pushes matters to more dangerous heights.

Production values are first rate, and Khan is surrounded by a cast of distinct and lively actors: Taran Singh and Kazi Rahman, who play Mameet’s pals Ritesh and Parnav, provide often hilarious counterpoint to Mameet’s somber air, and Nina Edmonds, as Mameet’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Shawni, is sexy, self-aware and natural. Also first-rate is Ferdusy Dia as Mameet’s wild sister, whom he tries to rein in.

Curiously, the South Asian immigrant street culture created by Chopra and co-writer Hart Eddy feels African-American down to its hip-hop accompaniment. But even if its culture-proud characters are ironically assimilating, “Punching at the Sun” is a display of talents that are distinctive, original and iconoclastic.

Punching at the Sun

Production: A Chops Films presentation. Produced by Tanuj Chopra. Co-producer, Dafina Roberts. Directed by Tanuj Chopra. Written by Chopra, Hart Eddy.

Crew: Camera (color, Super 16), Milton Kam; editor, Joe Murphy; music, Devinder Sahota, Nishant Verma; production designer, Amanda Ford; sound, Jessie Malings; associate producers, Josh Bettinger, Mridu Chandra; assistant director, Hassan El-Gendi. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 25, 2006. Running time: 86 MIN. (English, Hindi dialogue)

With: Mameet - Misu Khan Shawni - Nina Edmonds Dia - Ferdusy Dia Parnav - Kazi Rahman Ritesh - Taran Singh Sanjay - Mohammad Mirza Uncle Sonny - Hassan El-Gendi

More Film

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • Bruce Dern

    Film News Roundup: Bruce Dern's 'The Lears' Bought by Vertical for February Release

    In today’s film news roundup, Bruce Dern’s “The Lears” and “Angels Are Made of Light” are acquired, Cold War drama “Stanley Cage” is launched and a documentary about Madonna’s early music career gets a release. ACQUISITIONS Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights from NeoClassics Films to “The Lears,” starring Bruce Dern in a modern-day [...]

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content