umrika

Umrika is the Indian way of saying “America”. This World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is the best version of the saying “the grass is not always greener on the other side”.

Director Prashant Nair is born in Chandigarh and made his film debut with “Delhi in a Day” which was voted as Times of India’s top 10 independent films and if his second movie “Umrika” wins the hearts at the Sundance then he is definitely one to watch out for.

Umrika is set in the village of Jitvapur in the 80s when young Udai (Prateik Babbar) leaves the village with his uncle to begin his journey to the United States of America. He leaves and there is never any letter from him until one day a very colourful letter with photos stuck on the airmail comes and thus begins the stories of America. Udai has a younger brother Ramakant (Suraj Sharma) who when he sees the fascination of reading the letter by the village is also inspired to read and write, his father immediately admits him to school. Years pass on but Udai never visits home even when his father passes on. This disturbs Ramakant and he sets off to go to “Umrika” to get answers from his brother. Here his friend Lalu (Tony Revolori) helps him with moral and a little financial support. Ramakant lands in Mumbai and is told the only person who can help is Mr Patel (Adil Hussain).

Umrika is a must watch for Independent film enthusiasts. Suraj Sharma who was discovered by Ang Lee for Life of Pi, easily fits into the role of Ramakant. He is definitely an excellent actor. Tony Revolori who is actually an American actor and famous for his role as “Zero Moustafa” in the Grand Budapest Hotel is brilliant, he does his “Indian” role perfectly. Adil Hussain as Mr Patel again, another excellent performance. Prateik Babbar may not be getting roles or fame in Bollywood he is quite capable in an independent film.

Umrika is full of anecdotes, humor, stirring moments and very cool soundtrack including hits by Bappi Lahiri. Enjoy!

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