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Mississippi Masala

4.5 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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(May 27, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Passion. Tradition. Prejudice. Put it together, and you've got the recipe for a sexy irreverent romance. Starring Academy Award(r)-winner (Best Actor in a Leading Role - Training Day, 2002 and Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Glory, 1990) Denzel Washington as Demetrius, a Southern businessman who falls in love with an Indian immigrant, MISSISSIPPI MASALA is an exotic and erotic interracial love story. Sarita Choudhury co-stars as Mina, whose Indian family was expelled from Uganda under the reignof dictator Idi Amin. Like the colorful Indian dish "masala," Mina is a hot, spicy mix of cultures.But when she and Demetrius fall in love, nothing in her past prepares them for the family outrage they face. A funny, fascinating glimpse into two tightly-knit communities, and a moving story that crosses the color barrier, Mississippi Masala is "wonderfully tender wryly funny... vibrantly sexy." (Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Sarita Choudhury, Ranjit Chowdhry, Willy Cobbs, Charles S. Dutton
  • Directors: Mira Nair
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008WJEY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,979 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mississippi Masala" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
What a brilliant piece of low-key, realistic movie making, from the days when Mira Nair was making in your face movies such as Salaam Bombay and Mississipi Masala.
The first thing admirable about it is Nair's ability to merge three cultures (Uganda, India, & Southern American) into an enchanting love story. An Indian family of a man, his wife and their young daughter Mina are expelled from Uganda under the reign of dictator Amin. The family eventually moves to the U.S. When Mina grows up she finds herself caught in a curious cultural twist and considers herself a mix "masala". She later falls in love with a black carpet cleaner (played immaculately by Denzil) only to stir up a hornet's nest in her family, culture and community.
The movie is from 1992, so the mild racism undercurrent may be a bit tired but wasn't when it came out, in fact most of the ironies (e.g., both the lovers are "colored" in different shades) are shown in a light-hearted and dignified manner.
The movie has a clutch of hilarious moments as well, which make it an all round fun movie to watch. Both the protagonists, Denzil as the southern man and Sarita Chaudhari as the Indian woman, are actually quite likeable characters and you end up caring about both of them.
A very wholesome treat to watch!
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Format: VHS Tape
Mira Nair's film "teaches" without being preachy. The motion picture explores racism in all its ugly forms. The story begins with the expulsion of Indians and other Asians from Uganda because "Africa is for Africans" and brings one family to America (Mississippi, to be exact). There the family, specifically the daughter (Sarita Choudhury) in her relationship with a black man (Denzel Washington) experiences some of the same prejudices faced in Uganda.
In one very amusing, yet revealing, series of scenes, various characters "speak" to the screen sharing their opinions about other races, as well as those of the same race with a different skin hue.
"Masala" is a beautiful film with strong performances by Washington, Choudhury, and veteran actors Roshan Seth and Joe Seneca. The supporting cast also complements a truly entertaining film.
Hopefully, the studio that released the film will re-issue it in video form for others to view this fine production.
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By A Customer on July 16, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I am very impressed with this particular movie. It was well-scripted and the cast is dynamic. Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington are superb actors. Roshan Seth should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Mina's father. This movie really is Mira Nair's shining light.
I like the way the movie handles the reactions by both families to the interracial union of Mina and Demetrius. There are very few movies that can capture the emotions that go along with such a sensitive and controversial matter. Most importantly the opinions, thoughts, and traditions, both negative and positive, of both the Indian and Black communities are fairly communicated through the movie.
Also, this is probably one of the few movies that brings the horrific realities of Idi Amin Dada's regime to the mainstream. Many people unfortuanately do not know who this maniac was(is) or what he did to Uganda, its people, and the rest of Africa because it is not taught in many schools anymore. This book definately sheds some light on this vital part of world history.
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Format: VHS Tape
Fans of Mira Nair's Oscar nominated SALAAM BOMBAY! will not be disappointed by this unassuming little movie about an interracial romance in Mississippi.
Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury are a pleasure to watch in this engaging story about a love affair between a Black man (who's never been to Africa) and an Indian woman (who has never been to India) and how thier romance causes strife in a small Southern town.
Washington and Choudhury have amazing chemistry onscreen, transforming this modern day romance into an updated Romeo & Juliet with a spicy twist. The anxiety and strife their union causes among family members and town locals is realistically portrayed without falling into the trap of being being preachy or contrived.
Against all this, a subplot in the story revolves around the loss of a homeland and friendship between Choudhury's proud Ugandan national father and the Black Ugandan friend he left behind during Idi Amin's reign of terror.
A must see film and the only one I'm aware of that explores the relationship between African Americans and ethnic Indians.
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Format: VHS Tape
Mississippi Marsala begins in Uganda, as Idi Amin expels all the non-African landowners, turning their homes and property back to the Africans. Many Indians were brought to Africa to build roads and remained to raise their families and future generations. One of these men, Jay (Roshan Seth), a lawyer, is forced to leave with his wife and small daughter, Mina. Eventually the family moves to Mississippi, where other relatives and friends have set down roots, in this case, all of them living in the Motel Monte Cristo, owned by one of their group of exiles. Life goes on as usual, the rituals, traditions and holidays of an India many of them have never even seen.

Mina (Sarita Choudury) has grown up, still living with her parents at twenty-four, a dutiful daughter. While her mother works in a liquor store and Mina cleans rooms at the motel, Jay spends the years suing the government of Uganda for redress of his property, still trapped in memories of the world he was forced to leave. When Mina has a minor car accident, she meets Demetrius (Denzel Washington), a man who has his own business, a carpet cleaning service, with his best friend T-Bone (Charles S. Dutton). Mina and Demetrius carry on a low-key romance that gradually becomes more intense. When Mina's relatives spot the couple at a motel in Biloxi, a fight breaks out, revealing the harsh racial truths that have so far lain dormant. Suddenly no one wants to use the carpet cleaning service, so Demetrius retaliates by suing Mina's cousin, who broke into the motel room. How the couple resolves their differences isn't as important as the social issues that are exposed.

The cinematography is excellent, the African countryside awash with color and change, as the exiled gather their few belongings and board a shabby bus.
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