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In actuality, this is a movie about the true meanings in contemporary America of "love," "family," and "culture," and it grapples admirably with the changing social and personal-relationship patterns brought about by modern notions of democracy and freedom. Lisa and Reena are truly in love, and their families truly love them as well; but how are all these individuals to deal with Reena's choice to carry to term the baby she is producing through artificial insemination (using her brother-in-law's sperm)? Reena's sister has decided that she no longer WANTS a baby (she herself, biologically, cannot provide the egg for the child-to-be); however, Reena has decided SHE wants the baby, while Reena's female lover doesn't wish to become part of a "traditional" nuclear family.
The moral dilemmas here are both comic and real, absurd yet earnest, and the film explores all sides of its issues with grace and poise and humor. I'm astonished at the clever blocking of the film (such clever tricks for a low-budget effort!), such as when Reena is shown in half-profile before a mirror, or when Lisa falls off the sofa. This is a highly satisfying piece of cinema which I discovered purely by accident among the sale tapes at my local Blockbuster.
I look forward to more films by this original, brave, and highly intelligent director. CHUTNEY POPCORN reminds me of WHATEVER in its sensitive telling of a young woman's story in a complex world bearing no resemblance to anything which has come before in human history.
What is particularly brilliant about this film is the evolution of characters as the movie progresses, exquisitely offset by the humdrum of life, given how the developing plot is always inadvertently eavesdropped on by the neighborhood paan-seller. The film deals with some serious issues without ever becoming a discourse on values and morals; "Chutney Popcorn" never looses touch of the obvious reality and the subtle innate humor of the situation; a truly exceptional, and beautiful film.
Entangled in the fertility games is Reena's commitment-phobic girlfriend, Lisa (Crossing Jordan's Jill Hennessy), Sarita's husband, Mitch, and the girls' mother, an ever-meddlesome, traditional Indian woman. Momma is horrified when Reena decides to step up to the plate and offer herself as a surrogate for Mitch's sperm, Lisa feels the commitment rope tightening around her throat at the announcement, and Sarita begins to have second doubts about the baby.
The ensuing tale is a delight as Reena and Lisa begin the "turkey baster" ritual, and the cast of characters decide to share their infinite wisdom regarding a dyke bringing a child into the world. Scene after scene is filled with belly laughs, especially after one poignant "turkey baster" moment between Reena and Lisa.
Of course, any lesbian movie worth its salt must have a few moments of dyke drama, and "Chutney Popcorn" doesn't disappoint. It's only a matter of time before Sarita really has a problem with her dyke sister giving birth to her husband's child, and Lisa feels the burden of a baby is entirely too much for her. Add in pressure from Momma to "get a husband," backlash from her politically-correct dyke friends and her own journey of self-awareness as the baby grows, and you have a melting pot of emotion, laughter and tears.Read more ›
So a few scenes are choppy, the audio is a bit rough in places, and the soundtrack is typical lesbian coffee house/bookstore acoustic guitar... it's an Indie, not a blockbuster. All in all it's not bad at all if you're just looking for pleasing cinema. If you're looking for Camille, keep looking.
Kudos to the filmmaker for following through with it! Bravo!'
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
The black & white images of women wearing mendhi were beautiful, as were all the scenes depicting the careful applications of mendhi... how sensual is that? Please! I loved it! Watching her decorate her lover was very sexy. The two leads were great, and played off of each other well, and the mother & sister were fantastic - and are actually mother and daughter in real life.
The dialogue left a little to be desired, but there's some law written somewhere that dialogue in lesbian movies HAS to be horrible, so it wasn't a huge disappointment.
If you liked Rose Troche's "Go Fish" you'll love this movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
IMO, they pulled the best scenes for the movie trailer; the film, taken as a whole, is offensive and trite.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I didn't enjoy this one at all. Everything was off to me: the plot, chemistry, and story line. Say, "No".Published 8 months ago by Nicole
sweet culturally diverse movie with many underlying themes and characters. I really recommend this film for person to see today...Published on June 23, 2014 by lindy
I really enjoyed this movie. It has good pace, good acting and is written well. It isn't perfect, but what chick flick is? Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by C. Boeck
It was a fun movie and took a view from a different culture than the one a mostly live in.Published on November 19, 2013 by Share Dewees