Cast: Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Rob Lowe
Director: Robert Lieberman
'Speedy Singhs' is a bargain basement version of Gurinder Chadha's 'Bend It Like Beckham', borrowing the exact same premise but leaving out the sharp wit of that cross-cultural comedy. Newcomer Vinay Virmani stars as Rajveer Singh, an NRI kid in Toronto who clashes with his father (played by Anupam Kher) when he defiantly pursues his interest in ice hockey, instead of focusing on his blue-collar job at his uncle's transport company.
It's a harmless by-the-numbers underdog story that taps every clich associated with the genre. Unable to secure a spot on the gora team, the hero assembles a local band of misfits who're whipped into shape by a white coach (played by Rob Lowe) seeking his own redemption. In no mood to upset his father, the hero lies that he's given up the game, then gets thrown out of the house when daddy discovers he's been playing all along. Predictably the young chap falls for a white girl, whom he brings to an Indian wedding, where his family looks on disapprovingly. 'Speedy Singhs' also raises questions about cultural identity and the freedom of choice, but these are both addressed and resolved in the kind of superficial, sanitized style that so many diaspora films before have mastered. ...more
12:05 AM, Sep 24, 2011