movie review: ocean of pearls

August 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

ocean of pearls movie

ocean of pearls movie

so yesterday i went to see a film called ocean of pearls. i had no expectations going into the theater and thoroughly enjoyed the film. there were great shots of detroit (most of the story was set in detroit). its one of the few films set in detroit that not only actually shot in the city but also showed the nice parts instead of only the bad areas. it was directed by a local doctor believe it or not. the entire cast gives solid performances, especially the lead actor omid abtahi who plays amrit singh, a brilliant surgeon that struggles under pressures from remaining true to his sikh faith and the challenges he faces for being sikh at his new job at a detroit hospital. what’s very poignant about ocean of pearls is that the traditions and values that guide amrit’s choices are not expressed in a heavy handed manner. instead the audience can relate and be sympathetic to his struggles.  another theme touched upon, besides amrit’s cultural dilemma, is medical ethics and the holes in the american health care system. this really hits home and resonates because of all the current debate over health care reform.

one other aspect of the film i really appreciated is the use of color as an intricate part of the storytelling. the scenes with family ( scenes about his faith, with his girlfriend, etc) are full of warm colors while the hospital scenes (and a pivotal scene where he compromises his values) are always in all stark sterile white.

this beautifully done film is definitely a must-see. hopefully its playing in a theater near you.

oh yeah, another nice surprise was seeing “mr. belding” !!! if you remember the tv show ‘saved by the bell’, you know who i’m talking about….the principle of the school! he plays an incompetent yet influential surgeon. i admit that i kinda freaked out a bit when i saw him on screen (his first scene is in the airport) and squealed. don’t tell anybody. 😉

here’s the synopsis:

Amrit Singh is of two worlds, but belongs to neither. A turban-wearing Sikh, he has lived his life in North America out of sorts and out of place, cast adrift at an uneasy crossroads between East and West. But when he is offered a prestigious position as a transplant surgeon in a Detroit hospital, the young doctor sees it as a opportunity to start fresh. He struggles to be the man he believes he is and at the same time the person he wants to be. His ambitious pursuit of success, however eventually leads to tragedy and it is only in defining his singular identity that he finds peace.


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