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American Blend: Great mix of cultures
Priyanka Jain | September 29, 2006 16:24 IST
American Blend is a blend of emotion, friendship, extra-marital relationships, sibling rivalry and racial differences.
Set in Los Angeles, California, this 99-minute film opens at Bollywood Caf� -- a restaurant run by Raj Chadha (Anupam Kher). Jayme (Dee Wallace Stone), an American Indian classical dancer, is Raj's second wife. They live with Raj's children -- Niki (Amita Balla) and BJ (Sunkrish Bala), and Jayme's daughter Maya (Kristin Erickson). Jayme and Maya are both passionate about kathak, an Indian dance form. At their caf�, they have an Indian and Spanish cook (Ranjit Chowdhar and Ruben Garfias), who keep fighting about whose recipes are better.
One of BJ's African friends Mercury (David Oyelowo) is a British street tap dancer. BJ convinces his father to hire Mercury while he is struggling to make it big on Broadway.
In this musical drama-comedy, it's a delight to see so many cultures co-existing.
Mercury finds himself drawn to Jayme's dance studio, thanks to his passion for dance, and he is invited to dance with her students. In a stunning sequence, Mercury and a student (played by kathak dancer Amrapali Ambegaonkar) perform a mesmerising jugal-bandhi of kathak-tap dance to the hip-hop soundtrack composed by Kevin Hayes.
However, things aren't all hunky dory. Raj and Jayme have kept a secret from their children. If this secret is revealed, Raj fears his family will break up. His fears come true when, during a verbal fight, Jayme reveals the truth to their children. While Maya drinks herself silly and goes into a cocoon, her stepbrother BJ blows his top.
Will Maya and BJ forgive their parents? Will they forgive each other? Will the family unite? For answers, watch the film.
Although the climax could have been etched out better, it isn't abrupt. The film has its light and emotional moments. Chris Gosch's cinematography is strictly okay, while Abu Malik's music does not disappoint. And yes, the choreography by Amrapali Ambegaonkar is one of the high points.
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