Film Thoughts: Mitr, My Friend (2002, English, Shobana, Nasir Abdullah)

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE Shobana fan. However, even she could not save this terrible film. If you read reviews of Mitr online, you find a lot of things like “heartwarming story of an unhappy married woman finding herself through an online chat friend.” Hmmph! Apparently these people didn’t notice the ridiculously bad dubbing, sound editing, acting, and dialogue in this film. Half the time the character’s mouths are not matching their words. It is BAD. The acting is even worse. I don’t think I have ever heard such stilted dialogue, and it sounded like it was read by a bunch of amateur actors thrown into a poorly-insulated sound studio. 10 minutes into the film I was cringing and could hardly watch some scenes, and it went downhill from there.

The most cringe-worthy performance had to be the white preppy boy with a crush on Lakshmi (Shobana) who moves in next door. In addition to plain looking goofy, he had a goofy California-boy accent.

Second most cringe-worthy performance goes to Lakshmi's husband's friend who tries to speak Tamil and sounds like a buffoon. I have to give whoever the actor is credit though for obviously trying really hard to act natural- good effort sir!
This film could have been infinitely better. When you deal with topics like raising second-generation children in a foreign country, marital unhappiness, and cultural confusion, there is so much room for humor and insight. But Mitr completely missed the boat by making everything juvenile. The little “fights” between mother/daughter and husband/wife were so clich├ęd and contrived. It was as if whoever wrote the script and dialogue were trying to imitate things they had experienced in their own life in an effort to be “realistic,” but they had no idea how to recreate it with actors. They checked off all the boxes you would expect: husband who doesn't come home until late. Check. Extended shot of wife reacting with loneliness. Check. Fighting with child. Check. Wife cleaning up the table set for a now forgotten anniversary. Check. and on and on and on.

I also found it silly that Lakshmi would be chatting on such an infantile archaic chat room, which also describes the type of messages she and her “romantic interest” sent each other. Spare me.

The whole idea of the film is that this chatfriend Lakshmi has been sharing her secrets with and getting ideas from and improving her life by turns out to be someone very surprising! It’s a really, really cute idea that I wish had been executed much better.

I think people that like this film either found the plot concept novel or identified with the issues an NRI family faces raising children and getting along with their spouses in another country. I’m still at a loss to understand how these things could ever trump all the problems with the film though…


The luminous Shobana

Lakshmi's husband Prithvi (Nasir Abdullah)


  1. I very briefly considered ordering this, just for Shobana, but changed my mind after reading a plot summary. After reading this, I'm glad I followed my initial instincts :)

  2. Shobana is a good actur & more Dancer too i like her from the movie Manichitheraj & Rudheera veena


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