Kochi: The trailer of Oscar winner Brie Larson's new movie, Basmati Blues, has kicked up a row over its portrayal of India, its culture and its biotechnology and farming sector. The Internet users are seemed quite angry with the film as it, according to them, "perpetuating Indian stereotypes and reflecting the 'white savior' cliche".
However, Keralites have a small reason to cheer as the film showcases some of the beautiful locations in the rustic Kerala landscapes. The film was shot in Kerala's Changanassery in Kottayam district and Alappuzha.
The romantic comedy musical Basmati Blues was filmed in 2013, well before the actress picked up her Academy Award for her role in Room in 2016.
In the movie, Brie plays an American scientist sent to India to sell genetically modified rice to farmers.
The critics were also quick to point out its portrayal of Indian food as being too spicy, a white person 'saving' an Indian village, and 'fish out of water' jokes about a foreigner discovering local traditions.
The film, directed by Dan Baron, also casts Scott Bakula and Donald Sutherland in other major rolls.
According to the official synopsis, the movie is about a brilliant scientist, who is plucked out of the company lab and sent to India to sell the genetically modified rice she created. But eventually she realizes that it will destroy the very farmers she thinks she's helping.
Following the outrage among the movie buffs, the film's producer Monique Caulfield and director Dan Baron issued the following statement after the trailer dropped:
"We deeply regret any offense caused by the Basmati Blues trailer. 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. This movie is not about an American going abroad to solve India's problems. At its heart, this film is about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love. Basmati Blues is an ensemble musical romantic comedy. The film explores our responsibility for our actions and for each other, and attempts to do it in a disarming way, using music, comedy and romance. Basmati Blues is 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."