Language: English, Punjabi
Running Time: 103min
Film Year: 2015
Category: Marquee Series
Power. Respect. Loyalty. Style. “That’s my high,” says bossman Jeet Johar in Beeba Boys, a dandy comic crime thriller inspired by the real-life story of Punjabi gangster wars in Vancouver, Canada. Veteran director Deepa Mehta describes her action-packed and outrageously fun new film as “a desi Scarface.” (Endearingly invoking Miami’s most famous cinematic icon.)
In truth, Mehta’s tenth feature is just as reminiscent of The Sopranos. The illicit gun-and-drug trade favored by this lawless faction of first-generation Indian Canadians is undertaken in the service of upper-middle-class aspirations, financing comfortable modern homes in quiet suburbs, taking care of aging parents, and raising children with equal access to Western material luxuries and traditional Indian family values.
Jeet (Bollywood superstar Randeep Hooda, in his first North American role) and his dapper crew of enforcers (which includes the hilarious Waris Ahluwalia, familiar from Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Grand Budapest Hotel) are embroiled in a bloody turf war with rival family head Grewal (Gulshan Grover). Jeet’s flashy style and smoldering charisma get him unwanted attention from the police and an abbreviated stint in jail—but they also garner the adulation of women from across the racial spectrum, including the voluptuous Katya (Sarah Allen), herself a first-generation Polish Canadian.
Mehta, who has never encountered a cultural barrier that she hasn’t been delighted to demolish, both fulfills and slyly subverts genre conventions—while also rendering her gangster trajectory a cinematic catwalk for the year’s most striking male fashions. – Jaie Laplante
Our Marquee presentation screening of Beeba Boys will be preceded by an extended conversation with Deepa Mehta, reflecting on her illustrious career.
Wednesday March 9th @ 6:30pm O CINEMA MIAMI BEACH Add to Schedule
Director: Deepa Mehta
Producer: David Hamilton
Screenwriter: Deepa Mehta
Music: Manjeet Ral, Mychael Danna
Cinematographer: Karim Hussain
Editor: Colin Monie