Basmati Blues Filmmakers Apologize for ‘Cringeworthy’ Trailer
The Brie Larson-starring movie has come under fire for showing a stereotypical white person's version of India.
The makers of Basmati Blues, a movie based in India that stars Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson, apologized after the film was heavily criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of India.
After the trailer was released this week, people took to Twitter and other social media platforms, criticizing the portrayal of Larson as a white savior in the film. Producers clarified and said the trailer is not a representative of the film.
Director Dan Baron and co-producer Monique Caulfield issued a statement expressing regret, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “We deeply regret any offense caused by the Basmati Blues trailer,” they said. “We have heard a number of voices that have understandably reacted to a trailer that is not representative of the film as a whole. Unfortunately, the international trailer has given the wrong impression of the film’s message and heart.”
The makers clarified that the movie is “not about an American going abroad to solve India’s problems.” They added: “At its heart, this film is about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love,” and called it “a love letter to multiple eras of Bollywood cinema, musicals, and classic Hollywood romantic comedies. We are confident that the film, when seen in its entirety, will bear out our appreciation and respect for India and its people.”
The film was made in 2013 before Larson became famous for her role in Room, for which she won the Oscar in 2016. In the film, she portrays a scientist who goes to India to sell genetically-modified rice and goes against the evil corporation after finding out the side effects of the rice.
The film also stars actor-musician Utkarsh Ambudkar, who played Mindy Kaling’s on-screen brother in The Mindy Project and starred in Pitch Perfect as Larson’s love interest.
The trailer of Basmati Blues trailer is a montage of stereotypical scenes of rural India with focus on spicy food, overcrowded public transport, farms, and bad English.
This is ridiculous, they’ve completely ignored the culture of the country. Typical to portray India as about rice, spicy food, poverty, poor English and cringy music. India don’t need a White saviour. We’re good without them.https://t.co/ZxdCLmyn8n
— Rahul W (@rahulw_) November 9, 2017
#BasmatiBlues is what happens when you let whites have creative freedom wrt Indian culture + how to interpret it.
— Nia C (@sleepyhollowkid) November 10, 2017
— bad day everyday (@sherinlinda) November 9, 2017
I’m sorry . After @brielarson’s role in Basmati Blues, I reject her as Captain Marvel. As an apology, I kindly request we have a brown teenage girl take her role so we can have Kamala Khan. @Marvel white savior tropes and the disgusting portrayal of India will not be tolerated.
— kavs loves yeri | school hiatus (@nctzens127) November 14, 2017
makes me feel like we are still in some colonial india or shit, still viewed as snake charmers and dumb yikes #basmatiblues
— ً (@flickerfonds) November 18, 2017
Basmati Blues? More like Basmati Blows…. @brielarson read your script before choosing your movies next time
— Pretty Dass (@prettydass13) November 17, 2017