This film is an embarrassment to watch. And we don't just mean for Indians or Andhraites. GCF is a cringe-fest especially for people watching it on 70mm; they have nowhere else to look. Never was the remote-control so sorely missed.
The movie has been strung together using all the clichés in Clichéland. So what starts out a good idea ends up falling over its feet, face-first into a puddle. And sadly enough, even this is not funny.
Green Card Fever is the rather apt name of an immigration office in Ohio that feeds off the desperation of hundreds of people whose visas have worn out their American welcome. Murali (Vikram Dasu) is one such bandha. He's an ordinary desi, has an accent you can spot from outer-space and a heart that's good and simple and brimming over with patriotism. This would be very touching if it wasn't for the fact that he'd happily chop off his right arm to get to stay in America.
And like other illegal immigrants he looks for a sympathetic lawyer. In steps stuffed shirt Om Jeet (Deep Katdare as unbearably What-Me-Indian as he was in American Desi). And, playing Murali's love interest, in also steps classic ditzy chick, Bharathi (Purva Bedi). She dumps her gora boyfriend for treating her like an ethnic conversation piece, but her only memory of India is that place where people don't use toilet-paper. Like, how gross.
When the law won't help him and deportation looks imminent, Murali makes one last-ditch attempt at survival. In true American tradition he sues the lawyer, Om Jeet. The story plods along painfully from then on, making stops at prison and courtroom. Lukewarm climax and mandatory crappy ending follow.
The movie has a couple of funny lines, but you have to look pretty hard to find them. Which is difficult to do when you're hunched down in your seat covering your eyes in mortification. What could have been an interesting story about a real issue is turned into some weird 'comedy' that just doesn't work. All the actors ham it to the heavens, and the director's blatantly one-dimensional view of things gets on your nerves.
It's not worth the bother unless you are watching this on tv. At least you can flip channels every now and then.
Ajay Sreebhashyamon 25th Mar 2004, 4:45pm | Permalink
Well written. One question - when was the last time you went out of the country or applied for a visa? All the cliches are there for a reason-it's the truth. Agreed, the movie could have been better made, but IMHO, any attempt at calling a spade a spade deserves more than a *1/2. And I thought Murali's little rave in the courtroom was not bad at all. But a well written piece.
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