Brie Larson is getting backlash for her new movie, “Basmati Blues”

Patrice J. Williams
Brie Larson is getting backlash for her new movie, “Basmati Blues”

Another day, another white savior movie. That’s the response Brie Larson’s new film Basmati Blues is receiving. The internet is not here for its depiction of stereotypical Indian culture — or Brie’s character, who rides in (she’s literally riding a horse in one scene to stop a train) to save the helpless, waiting brown people.

We know Brie as an Academy Award-winning actress for her role in Room. She’s also been an LGBTQ+ ally, she’s supported Standing Rock, and has even said she looks at her film roles as a form of activism. So it really comes as a shock that this Brie, our Brie, would be a part of this.

Though the most recent trailer for Basmati Blues seems to have been taken down, you can see a previous trailer that was released last month.

*cringe*

Oh boy.

That darn, spicy Indian food!


Between the wearing of a sari, the appearance of a random goat, spicy food, and more, the images are just so stereotypical. Twitter, of course, had thoughts.

The plot revolves around Brie’s character, who travels to India to sell genetically modified rice to local farmers. But then she realizes the company she works for is pushing a product that’s dangerous. *plot twist* Enter the white savior.

Why are these films so dangerous and trite? It’s because we’ve seen them a million times. From The Help to The Blind Side (which won Sandra Bullock an Oscar) to 12 Years a Slave, a white character enters the scene and saves the helpless, uneducated, clueless, or savage black and brown people who would remain helpless, uneducated, clueless, or savage without them.

The film, which was shot a few years ago, has struggled to secure a release date but is now scheduled to premiere in India at the end of the month.

In response to the backlash, the movie’s producer, Monique Caulfield, and director, Dan Baron, released a statement reiterating that the film isn’t about stereotypes, but when viewed in its entirety, focuses on a love story, social responsibility, and corporate greed.

The statement:

“We deeply regret any offense caused by the  Basmati Blues trailer. We have heard a number of voices that have understandably reacted to a trailer that is not representative of the film as a whole. Unfortunately, the international trailer has given the wrong impression of the film’s message and heart. This movie is not about an American going abroad to solve India’s problems. At its heart, this film is about two people who reach across cultures, fight against corporate greed, and find love.  Basmati Blues is an ensemble musical romantic comedy. The film explores our responsibility for our actions and for each other, and attempts to do it in a disarming way, using music, comedy, and romance.”

We can only hope this film isn’t another example of cultural stereotypes being masqueraded as true life on screen. We’ll have to wait and see.