Umrika

Umrika

(2015)

Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) lead this 1980s-set drama from India. Audience Award winner at Sundance 2015.... More

A small village in northern India is invigorated when one of their own travels to America (or, "Umrika") and details his adventures through letters home, sparking community debate and inspiring hope. But when the letters mysteriously stop coming, his younger brother Rama (Sharma) sets out on a journey to find him.Hide

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Flicks Review

The film starts in 1975 on the day Emergency is declared across India, and moves through the 80s. It takes us from Jitvapur, the village in the mountains surrounded by clouds, so gentle and pastoral, it can only be in our imagination, to the grimy blue collar life of Bombay. Cultural and global happenings from the eighties are woven through the story to indicate the passage of time. Whether it is politics, Bollywood songs, cricket matches, Hum Log (the popular television soap opera), the Challenger disaster, long distance ‘trunk calls’ made from the post office or even the advent of video.... More

But it is America, or Umrika, the mythical faraway land that is strange and attractive all at once, which is at the centre of this tale. It is a metaphor for destiny; for a journey on route which larger, complex topics like human movement, immigration, survival, ambition, and family are tackled.

Prashant Nair, the director, has crafted a sweet, funny and very touching narrative that is universal. He has a stellar cast that brings to life his almost impeccable script. Suraj Sharma (Life Of Pi) is charismatic and compelling as Ramakant. Prateik Babbar is impressive as Udai. Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) plays a supporting role and it is interesting to see a non-Hindi speaking actor as an Indian. He does well even though his lines are dubbed.

The cinematography brings out the contrast between bucolic India and the rough edges of lower class living in Bombay without being in-your-face. Dustin O’Hollaran’s score elevates the film further, especially his take on eighties Bollywood songs. It is worth waiting until the credit roll to hear his instrumental version of that eighties Bollywood anthem Om Shanti Om.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Newt superstar

Suraj Sharma turns in another stellar performance to justify Life of Pi was no fluke


BY Gaspardation superstar

When Bollywood and Hollywood work together, they'd produce something very weird and unlike either of the parents.


BY ems superstar

Im not sure about this movie it seemed to go so slow and by the time it got to the end not much had happened. Had I missed something. I think it would of made a better short film.


The Press Reviews

88% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Umrika achieves remarkable power as a story by concentrating its view of America through the eyes of people who have never been there. Full Review

  • The strength in Nair's bittersweet script comes not from large monologues, but rather the subtle, almost throwaway lines that build up to a surprising yet fitting end that even allows its characters to look out over a sunset without it feeling trite. Full Review