A topical subject caught in the topsy-turvy of an indie cross over that wants to flirt with a Bollywood coming of age romancer, Rucha Humnabadkar’s potential NRI drama FOR HERE OR TO GO has a relevantly topical subject of immigration at its core and it does score in patches but the evolving sweep is missing.
However, the ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) are bound to find some solace. Vivek (Ali Fazal) is just the one like us or a friend/relative who wants to make it big in the Silicon Valley. Currently working on a ‘temporary’ HB-1 visa, Vivek finally finds someone in San Francisco who understands his vision and can lay the foundation of his dream to turn an entrepreneur.
But the complicated and frustrating visa rules of USA makes it impossible for Vivek to pursue his dreams in America. Further, to make matters worse for Vivek, another desi, Amit (Amitosh Nagpal) crash lands into his apartment with a mysterious weekend friend that lands them into the list of FBI.
This American chopsey then tries to fetch its sweet tenderness, when the troubled Vivek fighting his woes with the immigration authorities, falls for an attractive law school graduate Shweta (Melanie Kannokada), whom he meets at a “Bollywood Speed Dating” event (where else). And if that’s not all, a confused IT slave – Lakshmi (Omi Vaidya) is also there who is seen fighting a dual battle with the immigration authorizes and his sexual identity.
The immigration issue is touched at places and hits the right notes but the urgency of the makers to turn complacent with pleasing coincidences like Shweta (there are three Shweta’s in this movie) is the daughter of an Indian entrepreneur (Rajit Kapur) who is running a campaign to encourage Indians to return to their motherland through his forthcoming book.
Rucha Humnabadkar’s film gets its nuances in lighter moments, the moments between Vivek and Amit but it fails to register the pains and turmoil of immigrants who are at the mercy of their company. If the company fails and shuts downs, the employee has no option but to pack his bags no matter how studious and diligent worker he may have been. However there is one gem delivered when someone says, “We are bonded laborers of the new age,”
Adding further injury to the wounds, the talent of Ali Fazal is not utilized properly and is reduced to a guy who is flattered when his girlfriend says in that accent, “I love masala choy!” Omi Vaidya just repeats his 3 IDIOTS act and is stereotyped. The psyche of Amit played by Amitosh Nagpal is difficult to understand. Rajit Kapur’s character is strongly presented. Melanie Kannokada is attractive.
FOR HERE OR TO GO fails to make up its mind, it pushes the hot-button on issues of immigration but after raising the alarm bell starts flirting with all the known clichés of a cross over NRI feel good romance bromance with a coming of age wink that shrinks the core issue to just a tool/gimmick.