I had the opportunity to watch the Hawaii premiere of Miss India America, directed by Ravi Kapoor. The ninety-five minute film was about valedictorian, perfectionist and winner at all costs, Lily Prasad. Her seemingly perfect life comes crashing down when her boyfriend, Karim, breaks up with her for the reigning winner of Miss India National. Always being number one, Lily decides her only option is to win the Indian American beauty pageant ultimately scoring Karim back. She vows to succeed at any cost. The HIFF program guide described the movie as the “funny Indian America take one Mean Girls.” I personally didn’t think the film was anywhere close to as good as Mean Girls.
Overall, I think I would give the film 2.5 stars out of 5. There were some aspects I enjoyed, but there others that were hard for me to get over. For instance, the movie has a pretty obvious plot line, so you know what’s going to happen in the end; Lily’s egotistical ambition to always win leads her to make a bad decision, and eventually she realizes that she hasn’t been treating her friends and family with much respect. Even though I knew in the end all would be well and she would change her attitudes, these self-centered characteristics really made me dislike Lily at times. Even knowing in the back of mind that she was going to grow up and mature in the long run, I felt like her character was too much to handle throughout the majority of the movie. Another aspect that was hard to get over was how some of the scenes and parts of the script seemed a little cliché and cheesy.
However, there were parts I highly enjoyed about the film. I liked it because it was a feel good movie. Although it felt like it took forever for Lily to realize how horrible she had been being, once she finally did it was really nice to see her make those amends. I also loved seeing a movie like this from a different cultural point of view. Finally, I liked how it made me laugh out loud on several occasions and how it had some surprises that kept me on my toes!