Washington, ‘New York’, the first big Bollywood film to hit America after the industry strike, has won good reviews from US media with the New York Times praising its portrayal of problems faced by a Muslim minority.
“Indian films often deal with the problems faced by a Muslim minority. Transposed to the American context, those problems continue to resonate,” writes the influential daily about the film that opened across US last week.
“Kabir Khan’s ‘New York’ looks at America after 9/11 through a Bollywood lens” and it’s less distorting than you might think,’ it says. “The story, which engages issues of ethnic profiling and terrorism, hinges on loyalty, love and friendship, a holy trinity of Hindi cinema.”
Irrfan Khan, one of India’s best-known and most respected actors in the West, comes in for fulsome praise.
“While (Kabir) Khan’s depictions of American life occasionally seem silly and the plot has some crater-size holes, ‘New York’ is continually fascinating. It benefits from the performance of Irrfan Khan, who adds layers of complexity to his character, a Muslim FBI agent.”
NYC Movie Guru says “talented Irrfan Khan” plays an undercover FBI agent “with utter conviction.”
“What makes the film so engrossing is that the intricate screenplay humanizes” the characters, it says “so that they’re not merely cartoonish or stereotypical.”
“With the exception of a few corny scenes that come across as awkward and contrived, much of the plot feels captivating,” Movie Guru says.
“Director Kabir Khan moves the pace along briskly, includes a lively soundtrack and an appropriate musical score along with stylish cinematography.
“Screenwriter Sandeep Srivastava masterfully weaves a very suspenseful story that keeps you at the edge of your seat while tackling very provocative issues of post-9/11 racial profiling against Muslims.”
Movie site rottentomatoes.com calls it a “fascinating film,” which “in very intriguing and suspenseful sequences …takes the audience in the plight of legal detainees’ and “interprets and highlights the situations without bias.”
As the film reflects of the tragedy of everyday life, it uses the imagination of its audience in its feelings, says the critic. “The crisp flow of action and explosive dialogue furthers the plot while contributing to its effect as a whole. New York is a solid dramatic movie that I found quite good.”