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Dreams to dust


Green Card Fever (English)

Cast: Vikram Dasu,

Deep Katdare, Purva Bedi

Director: Bala Rajasekharuni

WATCHING A movie like Green Card Fever makes you wonder what is it about the USA that prompts people to leave a comfortable life to live in sub-human conditions thousands of miles away from home. The fact that everyday there are shiploads of people (things do not seem to have changed greatly from the time of The Gangs of New York!) coming to America to find their slice of the American pie, seems so pointless. It is however a fact of life, that people sometimes sell everything for that one-way ticket to an imagined paradise. Murali comes from a small town in Andhra to make it big in the US. Once his visa expires and his straightforward lawyer, Om, refuses to bend the law, Murali gets sucked into a vortex lies and exploitation.

There are smooth talkers in every corner of the subterranean world of the illegal immigrant. It is a vicious circle where one does not exist without the requisite papers. The film is a different kind of Bildungsroman with Murali finding love in Bharati and realising that life is not made just by landing in the States.

There are parallel stories like Om's constant spats with his Dadaji about the necessity to keep one's identity as well as Bharati, a second generation Indian coming to terms with her roots.

The roommates provide the usual laughs. There is poignancy in scenes of Murali's shopping where he forgoes food for the all important phone card and carving out the map of India from a cheese single in the Immigrant Detention Centre.

Vikram Dasu makes for a convincing Murali while Purva Bedi is cute as Bharati and Purva's American Desi co-star dashing Deep Katdare plays prim and propah Om. Music by Pete Sears of Jefferson Airplane is hummable. The obligatory happy ending might seem a little too pat, but all in all Green Card Fever is a good debut by Rajasekharuni.

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