Hollywood meets Bollywood.
Nerdy young scientist Brie Larson goes to India to launch the new GM rice she has created and strikes amorous sparks with poor student Utkarsh Ambudkar, unaware that her unscrupulous boss (Donald Sutherland) is using her as a stooge to rip off the local farmers.
Mostly filmed in 2013 but unreleased until 2017 (the year after Larson’s Oscar win for Room), Basmati Blues is a real oddity. It’s partly a satire on US agribusiness, partly a romantic comedy, and, most bizarrely of all, a musical. Given the setting, you would expect the songs to have a Bollywood flavour yet they are singularly lacking in spice.
You may still be curious to see a musical about rice, especially one that features the sight of Sutherland bursting into song (as does his henchwoman, Tyne Daly), but you shouldn’t be too surprised that it turned out bland.
Certificate PG. Runtime 102 mins. Director Dan Baron
Basmati Blues debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 14 May.