Aug 24, 2008

Taste of India to American Audience (And an Important P.S.)

Many of you might have heard the recent news about an actor of Indian origin, Shelley Malil, who has been arrested for having stabbed his girlfriend in Los Angeles. Having got very few Indian actors to represent us in the American entertainment media, we could have certainly be better off without the Malil incident. Who else is out there? Let us see..

a) Manoj Night Shyamalan:
He doesnt need any introduction. Shot to huge fame after 'Sixth Sense', he was hailed as the next Spielberg, only to gradually disappoint after his first three movies. His last three movies released since 2004 have got mixed reactions from both the critics and the audience. His recent product 'The Happening' has been branded the worst Shyamalan movie so far. Though creepy and all, I came out of the movie hall disappointed. Hope he slowly gets back to his Sixth sense days..

b) Kal Penn:
Kalpen Modi, who changed his name to Kal Penn to suit the American audience, is gradually getting recognition and famous. He is the Kumar of the 'Harold and Kumar' series of movies. His performance as Gogol in Mira Nair's 'Namesake' has been widely appreciated. He is among the rare breed of Indian Americans who have got both artistic talent and academic excellence. He also stars as a doctor in the famous TV series 'House'.

c) Sendhil Ramamurthy:
I came to know about him from one of my students.. it was awkward. I saw 'Heroes', a famous TV series, in which he was the young Geneticist. He looks rugged and handsome. He has a mild Indian accent which is good to hear. While his role in 'Heroes' is quite big, he has appeared in other famous TV shows such as 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Num3ers'. Quite nice to have a Tamil representative in this list.

Though there are others like Mira Nair, Gurinder Chadha, and Shakhar Kapur who direct movies, they are not known among the audience in US because they dont appear on screen. Few other actors such as Ajay Naidu (Office space, pi, and The Guru), Naveen Andrews (Bride&Prejudice, Kama Sutra, Lost and Provoked), Sanjaya Malakar (of American Idol) and of course Aishwarya Rai have tried to make some impression among the American audiene with mixed success. Hope someone raises above the average mark and makes a big impression in Hollywood or American TV.

A Very Very Important P.S.: Happy Birthday to Xander Vijaykanth:

Tamil Nadu's only hope, Puratchi Kalaignar Gaptun Visayakanthukku jora oru salaam podunga!!


polynag said...

Nice Post!
I am reading about sendhil ramamurthy first time. Hope to see his movies soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raju,
Why don't you try?You are also handsome,capable to direct a film (B'coz you have seen more cinemas from the childhood)!!!!!

mitr_bayarea said...


That was a good sumamry of all the actors of Indian origin in US. Never heard of the third guy, Karl Penn has a god talent of being funny and also portraying a serious personality, liked him in both movies.

LoL-ed at the last photo on this post......

tt_giant said...

i dint hear about that incident, news to me..

donno why, but that kal pen guy is annoying.

lol last photo!

VM said...

i wonder if night is being inspired by stephen king- weirdo stories. i was dissapointed too.
kal penn, is he ivy leagueii?
sendhil is undoubtedly good looking, but i often feel that he's over acting. cud be am bias because i dun like heroes.

have u started talking to the plants yet? ;-)

25th was xander's birthday??? i shud have guessed it the instant i started sneezing when i woke up. till date i can't forget my mom's remarks after watching alexander, " this fella has brought disgrace to alexander the great". woo-hoo check out his glasses frame. this pic is really something, i cudn't resist laughing. raju, with ur permission am gonna save this picture into my folder..hehe.

Raju said...

Nagesh, very few lucky ones make it to the silver screens from the small screen. Hope Sendhil does too.. In fact, I recommend you get 'Heroes-Season 1' from libarary and watch during the weekend. It is an interesting series which is about humans possessing unique powers, or 'impossible' things that are dealt well in the book 'Physics of the Impossible'.
Murthy, indha kadhaidhaney venamgiradhu.. As one of my friends in IISc said, I can become a Kannada film hero.. ashtey.. U know what I mean..

Raju said...

Mitr, yeah.. though I was initially circumspect of Kal Penn, after observing Ajay Naidoo and Naveen, I think he was superb in Namesake.
Deepak, did u watch Namesake?
Vm, yeah.. The Happening was more creepy than thrilling. I hope too that he is not inspired by Stephen King. I watched a recent movie 'Creep Show' based on Stephen king short novels where he acted too.. Couldnt watch more than two of them..

In 'Heroes', which has a fast-paced story with a time-bound deadline, he was like the gluing force which connects them all. I think that made him look too anxious and hence over-acting.

LOL on the qn. on plants.. When I came out of the theater after 'The Happening', I thought I will be talking to the plants for a few days at least... but after a few hours, the movie was totally forgotten, so no talking to plants.

LOL on your comment on Xander. He is the undeclared comedy hero of Tamil cinema in the recent times.

shamili said...

Hi Raju,

Happy Vinayagar Chaturthi !

Nambulukagave varugiran chella Ganesha ;-)


Anonymous said...


Write something new. Each time I come to ur blog I feel so demotivated- Gaptun's Factor !!!

Raju said...

Shamili, thanks.. Oh you saw that ad too? I loved it.. :)
Anon, LOL.. Rajni=Motivation, Gaptun=Demotivation-a? Saridhan..