Brie Larson’s new movie has already cooked up quite a bit of controversy among Indian internet users, who aren’t too happy with its portrayal of India.
Twitter users have been dragging the trailer for romance musical “Basmati Blues,” which takes place in India and features Larson, a white actress, as the protagonist.
People bashed the movie for perpetuating Indian stereotypes and casting a white actor in the lead role, reflecting the “white savior” cliche.
The project was filmed years ago, but is only slated to open in India later this month, BuzzFeed points out. Larson plays Linda, a scientist whose company sends her to India to sell a genetically modified rice she created. But as more information is revealed about the harmfulness of her product, she decides to fight back against the agricultural company.
Producers Monique Caulfield and Danny Baron released a statement following the deluge of criticism. Though the trailer mentions that Larson’s character “will fight for justice,” the producers said “Basmati Blues” is not about a white hero saving India.
“We deeply regret any offense caused by the Basmati Blues trailer,” Caulfield and Baron said in the statement. “We have heard a number of voices that have understandably reacted to a trailer that is not representative of the film as a whole. Unfortunately, the international trailer has given the wrong impression of the film’s message and heart. This movie is not about an American going abroad to solve India’s problems. At its heart, this film is about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love.”
The producers insist the plot of the film in its entirety is respectful of Indian culture. However people across Twitter have already had it with the trailer. Some pointed out how the movie stings, especially considering India’s history of colonialism.
Others noted that the film completely exoticizes Indian culture and does not accurately portray the country.
Others wondered how, in this day and age, a movie with Indian stereotypes could be released.
And some definitely don’t plan on watching the movie.