When Australian and Indian cinema got together and decided to have a love child, there were a few probable outcomes…
Cricket. The shared passion for the sound of leather on willow was always likely to feature. Brett Lee in a leading role is the result and it has to be said he delivers as the more-Aussie-than Vegemite Will who may well be a teacher by profession yet still can be found lurking around the nets surprisingly often.
Singing and Dancing. Aha! Gotcha!!! With the Western world often presuming Indian films are all the same, the expectation of Brett swaying to the beat grows. This is not a Bollywood flick. There are about one and a half dances in the film and they last just long enough to show Brett should stick to acting.
Sex. Well, perhaps we didn’t expect it from the concept stage but ever since the classification emerged it’s certainly been the most anticipated element. And? WELL? It’s tantric. A sweaty naked metaphor for cross cultural relations being a beautiful, intertwining thing.
Light and Fluffy. Bingo. UnIndian is Romeo & Juliet Lite. He is the English University Academic who teaches Australian conversation. She’s the single Indian Mum breaking convention by being a successful professional exec who doesn’t see an arranged or quasi-arranged marriage as her only key to happiness. They meet cute, they get in their own way, true love is not to be defeated.
What’s most impressive is how UnIndian maintains its light fun air while juggling so many grenades. It swaps villain at the last moment, sidelines supporting characters until they are useful, though tries slightly too hard to hammer home the dilemmas of modern Indians in Australia.
UnIndian is not perfect by a long shot. But it is easy to consume, spectacular to watch, and as for the ceremonial elephant in the room: there is not a moment of cringe from start to finish. Brett Lee can hold his head high and Australia has possibly the perfect date film: cricket, celebrity and a pinch of culture all in a colourful rom-com pack.
‘UNindian’ Movie Times