The Brie Larson-starrer Basmati Blues has invited considerable backlash over its trailer, which has been going the rounds of the internet. The trailer is being pilloried for its stereotypical depiction of India.
Dan Baron’s directoral debut features Larson as scientist Linda Watt, who is sent to India to acquaint farmers in a village with a genetically modified variant of rice. But when she discovers that her rice could actually harm the interests of the farmers whom she is attempting to aid, Watt comes to their rescue.
Apart from Larson fanning her face when she eats spicy food, being harassed by a goat at a railway station, making a faux pas with a “village elder from a shrine” and wearing a saree while grooving to some local tunes, the trailer also features Indians speaking English in an inexplicable accent.
The trailer has not been released by the production house, but is on various YouTube channels.
The trailer also features farmer Rajit (Utkarsh Ambudkar) looking around Watt’s laboratory and reflecting sagely, “Wow, so this is what an American rice paddy looks like.”
The musical comedy also features Scott Bakula, Donald Sutherland, Tyne Daly and Suhasini Mulay. It has been scored by Steven Argila and has songs written by Pearl Jam, Dave Baerwald, and Sonu Nigam. The film was to have been released in 2015 but was delayed. It will hit Indian screens on November 24, according to some reports.