Movies

‘For Here Or To Go’ review: Mediocre melting pot

“For here or to go?” the question asked on ordering a meal at an American fast-food restaurant is the motif underlying the film. Whether Vivek Pandit (Ali Fazal), Lakshmi (Omi Vaidya) and Amit (Amitosh Nagpal) can settle in America or head back to India depends on the US immigration laws that they are up against. Vivek can’t pursue his start up dream or move on to a better job what with his visa expiring in 11 months and no company willing to sponsor it for him. If that weren’t enough the three also land up on the FBI watch-list out of their own stupidity. So much so that instead of feeling any sympathy for their precarious lives you feel they deserve to be given the marching orders. There is so much of angst at being “bonded labourers” that you wonder why they chose to be in the US in the first place.

For here or to go
  • Director: Rucha Humnabadkar
  • Starring: Ali Fazal, Rajit Kapur, Melanie Kannokada, Omi Vaidya, Samrat Chakrabarti, Amitosh Nagpal
  • Run time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Storyline: An Indian techie battles the US immigration system. Will he realise his American dream or go back home to India?

All of this stems from a terribly weak script which moves in various directions without being able to focus on and do justice to one. Nor is it able to be definitive about any of thre characters. Despite US immigration laws up for debate the film doesn’t even scratch the surface of the issue. All the chatter about green card, H1B doesn’t add up to anything. What you do see a lot of is one NRI cliche after another. A mom pestering her son to get married while he is dating desi “chicks” and speed-dating in the Bay area while being particularly sweet on an ABCD (America Born Confused Desi). Why he even does a Bollywood dance number with her out of nowhere. After all the troubles the characters go through over a piece of paper, the resolution comes ever so conveniently making you wonder what the hulabaloo was all about in the first place. Omi Vaidya does yet another variation of his irritating 3 Idiots character but Amitosh Nagpal beats him hollow with an even more over the top act. Ali Fazal remains likeable despite all the mess surrounding him and Rajit Kapur as a veteran techie pining for India is all sincere in a film that he doesn’t deserve to be trapped in.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 1:58:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/for-here-or-to-go-review-mediocre-melting-pot/article24354029.ece

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