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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

ABCD (review)

“ABCD” stands for “American-Born Confused Desi.” “Desi” is an Asian Indian word for Indian, and this surprisingly downbeat family drama — from director Krutin Patel (he cowrote the screenplay with James McManus) — follows the travails of Nina (Sheetal Sheth) and Raj (Faran Tahir), who immigrated to the U.S. as children and now, as adults, face identity crises as the hopes of their thoroughly Indian mother for the lives of her children conflict with their own Americanized ideas about what constitutes the good life. Its drama comes from the grief born both of defying and of giving in to parental expectations, and its humor comes from the instantly recognizable universality of a mother’s push-and-pull relationship with her children (“I just want you to be happy!”)… all of which makes this a story to appreciate, laugh at, and cry with no matter where you or your parents came from.


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MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

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