Unindian review: Predictable yet enjoyable rom-com

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee's acting debut is a one-time watch.

Keyur Seta

Film: UnIndian (U/A)
Rating: 2.5/5

Let’s face it: romantic comedies are bound to be predictable. So, the biggest challenge in terms of the writing and direction in such films is to make sure that the audience enjoys the predictability. As this happens to some extent in debutant director Anupam Sharma’s Unindian and the film also explores societal issues surrounding NRIs, it comes across as a decent entertainer.

Unindian revolves around single mum Meera (Tannishtha Chatterjee). After her divorce from Deepak (Gulshan Grover), she has been staying in Sydney with her 10-year-old daughter Smitha (Maya Sathi) and parents (Supriya Pathak and Akash Khurana). Her mother is desperate to find a rich and ‘good’ husband for her, but Meera isn't interested.

Meera comes across Will (Brett Lee), who teaches Aussie English at an institute. He stays in the same city with three roommates. Will instantly falls for Meera and tries to win her over in various ways. But she is cautious about entering a relationship again. Worse, Meera’s mother wants only an Indian husband for her daughter. Are Meera and Will destined to be together?

Just a few minutes into the film you can easily guess the rest of the story. Fortunately, though, the engaging script and humour don’t let you give up on the film. There is plenty of scope for laughter in a film about cultural differences and Unindian makes good use of it. But the most interesting bit here is the exploration of the regressive and patriarchal mindset of Indian families even abroad with respect to women. 

What really goes against the film is the half-baked romance between the lead pair. This ensures that you don’t root for the lovers as much as you should. A couple of uninteresting and loosely handled sub-plots and the lack of a clear element of conflict don’t help either. Also, there could have been some more insight into Will's character.

There is inconsistency with respect to the editing and background score when the proceedings go into thriller mode. These portions don’t gel with the rest of the film. The camerawork is up to the mark.

Tannishtha Chatterjee is known as a top performer and her talent shines through once again. Brett Lee, the former Australia fast bowler, has an impressive screen presence. But when it comes to acting, he is just average, unlike his bowling. Supriya Pathak brings the character of a worried mother of a single woman alive. But she need not have been so melodramatic.

Maya Sathi, the child artiste, displays mature acting skills. Akash Khurana, Sarah Roberts, Arka Das and Nicholas Brown are decent in their supporting acts. In a negative cameo, Gulshan Grover plays the typical Gulshan Grover. There is nothing more to his act.

Overall, Unindian is a predictable rom-com that can be savoured once. 

Director: Anupam Sharma
Producers: Australia India Film Fund
Writer: Thushy Sathi
Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Brett Lee, Maya Sathi, Supriya Pathak, Gulshan Grover
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Runtime: 102 minutes