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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Mira Nair
USA 1991

 

The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South come together in Mira Nairís Mississippi Masala, a luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) spends her days cleaning rooms in an Indian-run motel in Mississippi. When she falls for the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington), their passionate romance challenges the prejudices of both of their families and exposes the rifts between the regionís Indian and African American communities. Tackling thorny issues of racism, colorism, culture clash, and displacement with bighearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and deeply satisfying celebration of loveís power.

***

An Indian family is expelled from Uganda when Idi Amin takes power. They move to Mississippi and time passes. The Indian daughter falls in love with a black man, and the respective families have to come to terms with it.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 18th, 1991

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Review: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Coming to Blu-ray in the UK by Criterion in December 2022:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1127 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:57:53.232       
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,515,233,181 bytes

Feature: 35,403,319,296 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2012 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2012 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,515,233,181 bytes

Feature: 35,403,319,296 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

ē New audio commentary featuring Nair
ē New conversation between actor Sarita Choudhury and film critic Devika Girish (25:33)
ē New interviews with Lachman (16:28), screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala (14:12), and production designer and photographer Mitch Epstein (18:09)
PLUS: An essay by critic Bilal Qureshi and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from Nairís production journal


Blu-ray Release Date: May 24th, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 17

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (May 2022): Criterion have transferred Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Mira Nair and director of photography Ed Lachman". It looks brilliant - clean, tight, wonderful depth and impeccable contrast. Only one scene appeared to have some brief teal-leaning - otherwise this is an immaculate transfer on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. Textures are evident and I doubt that even a 4K UHD would improve it demonstratively. Exceptional.

NOTE: We have added 58 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Criterion use a DTS-HD Master stereo track (24-bit) in the original English language with some very minor Urdu or Tamil. Mississippi Masala has no dynamically aggressive moments, aside form some suspenseful impressions in the opening, and the stayed audio is at the strong level of the video - balanced, clear with fully audible with consistent dialogue in via this lossless transfer. Criterion offer optional English subtitles (see sample below) on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Criterion Blu-ray offers a new commentary by director Mira Nair. She discusses the distinctive credits being part of the spirit of the film (NOTE: the actual title doesn't actually appear until over 16-minutes in!) She talks about the desperation in the air at that time in Uganda - just after the war. She references "The comedy of exile" and the Indian cast members, the "hierarchy of hustlers" regarding the Tow-truck driver, and the writer Sooni Taraporevala's uniting the black and brown worlds. She claims that nostalgia was an important theme, how Sharmila Tagore is an extraordinary actress - an icon of Indian films, Mississippi Masala's cutting and inter-cutting, and how Nair herself was in a 'love stupor' at the time of making it. She pauses and narratives a bit but I thought it was an excellent commentary. There is also a new 25-minute conversation between actor Sarita Choudhury and film critic Devika Girish about her remarkable film debut as Mina in Mississippi Masala. There is a 1/4 hour interview with director of photography Ed Lachman who talks about shooting on location in Uganda and Mississippi. It was recorded in New York in 2022 for the Criterion Collection. In a 14-minute interview with screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala she talks about collaborating with director Mira Nair. It was recorded in 2022 in Mumbai. Lastly is an 18-minute interview with photographer Mitch Epstein who discusses his foray into production design on Mississippi Masala. There is also a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Bilal Qureshi and excerpts from Nairís production journal. 

Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala is a wonderful romantic drama exploring an interracial romance between African Americans and Indian Americans. Ben Kingsley was originally cast in the role of Mina's father. Mira Nairís observant and romantic tale of cultural crossover has Sarita Choudhury and Denzel's chemistry at the crux and Mississippi Masala. It's sexy and joyful with an undercurrent nod to persistence, survival and denouncing the boundaries of international bonding. A very heartfelt and uplifting film experience. A fabulous choice for Criterion to bring to Blu-ray with a new commentary and supplements. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Coming to Blu-ray in the UK by Criterion in December 2022:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1127 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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