Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Mira Nair interviews a New York friend, like herself originally from India, and presents an examination on the life of an immigrant in America. Ashok Seth works a subway newstand after having left his homeland some years earlier. His parents, wanting to make sure he did not make an unworthy match with a foreigner, married him off to a village girl before his departure; she and Ashok got pregnant soon after the marriage and before long he left his wife and child alone in India and came to America to make his fortune. Nair wisely avoids making judgments as she examines the man who thoroughly enjoys being a New York City bachelor but also feels the ties that call him home. When he finally does, he finds himself at odds with a wife he hardly knows but completely wrapped up in adoration for his son. Will he able to pull it together and actually make a family life now that he has the opportunity? This film covers many of themes that Nair would return to in her dramatic feature The Namesake many years later, but the fictional film would suffer from the lack of immediacy and richness that this one offers.