Aalok Mehta, Anurag's brother, plays Sureel, a budding musician who can't bring himself to tell his parents he isn't studying to go to medical school. Instead, Sureel is studying music and dating white women--two things he has hidden from his stern father (Paresh Rawal). When Sureel meets Maya (Sheetal Sheth) and begins to trust himself as he falls in love with her, he decides to tell his father the truth. With steady pacing and straightforward, clear dialogue, Mehta slowly builds momentum heading toward Sureel's showdown with his father.
Rawal as the father gives his performance enough toughness to make him believable during the more dramatic scenes and a light touch for the comic ones. His performance is a classic.
The meat of the movie deals with the various differences between the two cultures. Mehta crystallizes his views by including a handful of satiric jabs at chaste Bollywood musicals.
The movie also benefits from the appealing presence of Aalok Mehta, a mellow hipster who defies the stereotype of the Indian convenience store worker.
“American Chai” does suffer, off and on, from choppy pacing, and Mehta never seems to have enough light in his scenes. The movie is amateurish, but it's a minor treat. Starring Aalok Mehta, Paresh Rawal and Sheetal Sheth. Directed and written by Anurag Mehta. Produced by Taylor MacCrae. A Magic Lamp release. Comedy. Rated R for some sexual dialogue. Running time: 92 min.