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TOUCH OF PINK (R) (2004)

Sony Classics

Official Site

Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid

Producers: Martin Pope, Jennifer Kawaja, Julia Sereny

Written by: Ian Iqbal Rashid

Cast: Jimi Mistry, Kyle MacLachlan, Kristen Holden-Ried, Suleka Mathew, Veena Sood, Liisa Repo-Martell, Brian George, Raoul Bhaneja


This one was a bit hard to judge due to its bipolar tendencies of having some really brilliant elements and some really cheesy ones. Averaging out the genius and the Gouda, I’d have to give Touch Of Pink 3 out of 5 stars. (Really, I’d like to give it a 2.75, but unfortunately we don’t have the correct graphic to portray that.) I don’t want to deceive anyone into thinking this is a stellar film, but it is enjoyable enough in a rather melodramatic kind of way. One review I read dubbed it “Bollywood without the song and dance,” and I’d definitely have to agree. Several of the characters are way over the top, but the more witty and sincere moments of the movie often make up for their antics.

Touch Of Pink is about Alim, a young Canadian of Indian descent (Mistry) who must break it to his fast-talking, traditional, no-nonsense mother (Mathew) that he’s gay. The fact that he fled to London in order to avoid such a situation (or, as he puts it, “to find himself”) makes it that much more difficult. When she surprises him with a visit, he even goes so far as to claim that his British boyfriend, Giles (Holden-Ried), is merely his roommate and that he is currently in a relationship with Giles’ sister, Delia (Repo-Martell). Obviously this situation cannot continue for much longer, but Alim is determined to maintain the façade despite the effects on those around him.

Encouraging this idea is Alim’s long-time imaginary friend, Cary Grant (MacLachlan). Didn’t see that one coming, did ya? Ever since childhood, Alim has lived by the guidance of playmate, father-figure, and confidante Cary Grant. Kyle MacLachlan plays the part of this old-school actor with such artistry and self-indulgent humor that you can’t help falling immediately in love with him. While the movie itself is only so-so, MacLachlan without a doubt deserves formal recognition for his role as supporting actor. I’d say three-quarters of TOP’s humor stems from his banter and beautifully expressive body language.

The other characters in TOP were far less breathtaking, I’m sorry to say. I haven’t seen any of Jimi Mistry’s other films (I just couldn’t bring myself to watch The Guru), but in this movie he is subdued to the point of lifelessness. He didn’t really seem to believe the character, if that makes sense. But then again, I didn’t much believe the character either. It’s as if Mistry understood the principles of what he was supposed to portray—anger, hurt, humorous befuddlement—but couldn’t apply them to the acting at hand. Suleka Mathew, too, seemed to sense the futility of portraying her character realistically, although hers was a slightly harder task, given the stereotypical nature of her role. Take the mother from Bend It Like Beckham and add a healthy dose of narcissistic self-absorption and you end up with a product like Nuru. The performance is overkill, although I have to admit, some of the funniest one-liners zing from her mouth.

Giles and Delia would have been wonderful if their characters hadn’t been respectively limited and underutilized. Holden-Ried was typecast into the narrow confines of former playboy gone straight (no pun intended) but gave some wonderful performances in scenes where he was given free rein. Repo-Martell was great in her few appearances as the slightly exasperated and out-of-place sidekick. She reminded me of a female Hugh Grant, and I look forward to seeing her in future projects. So while as a whole Touch Of Pink was only lukewarm, there are some definite moments—and people—that make it worth renting.

— Emily Younger

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

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