Today’s Special -- Film Review
A dozen years ago, Aasif Mandvi, the Indian-born actor who is now a correspondent on "The Daily Show With John Stewart," wrote and performed a superb one-man show called "Sakina’s Restaurant." He played a young Gujerati sponsored by a New York Indian family to come to American and work in their restaurant. Switching accents and costumes with abandon, Aasif played every character -- the father, daughters, son and, of course, the fresh-of-the-boat youth encountering the American Dream.
Using this stage show as its inspiration, Mandvi and a group of filmmakers have cooked up a thematically similar movie, Today’s Special, a feel-good fable about a talented cook and second-generation Indian, who discovers his destiny and own version of the American Dream when he takes over his father’s run-down Tandoori Palace restaurant. While it tracks familiar themes of generational clashes in immigrant families, upward mobility and Old World vs. New World values, Today’s Special does so with vigor and a pleasing sense of comedy. Not hurting matters for foreign and Indian film devotees, the film features two icons of Indian cinema, Madhur Jaffrey and Naseeruddin Shah.
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