Chutney Popcorn

on July 09, 2000 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   Reena (Nisha Ganatra) is an East Indian, motorcycle-riding, outspoken lesbian tattoo artist. It's a lifestyle that does not go down too well with her traditional mother (Madhur Jaffrey), who doesn't even acknowledge that her daughter is gay. When Sarita (Sakina Jaffrey), Reena's more conventional, married sister, finds out she's infertile, Reena suddenly hits on a way to gain her mother's acceptance. She'll carry a child to term for her sister--a decision that does not please her girlfriend, Lisa (Jill Hennessy).

   Part of the problem with "Chutney Popcorn" is that the inexpressive Ganatra has cast herself in the lead, never a good decision for a director. But the film itself is awkwardly paced, fitfully funny and, except for Hennessy, who is very fine as Lisa, not well characterized. Exotic title notwithstanding, "Chutney Popcorn" is never as tasty as it should be.    Starring Jill Hennessy, Nisha Ganatra and Sakina Jaffrey. Directed by Nisha Ganatra. Written by Nisha Ganatra and Susan Carnival. A Mata Films release. Comedy. Unrated. Running time: 93 min.

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