The American senate, in order to improve it's fast declining global image, asks comedian Albert Brooks to write a 500 page document about what makes Muslims laugh in India and Pakistan. Bidding adieu to his wife and young daughter,and accompanied by two government bureaucrats, Albert opens up an office in New Delhi, hires a pretty Secretary, Maya, and goes around asking people at random as to what makes them laugh. He finds that people generally look at him suspiciously and refuse to answer any questions. He then decides to go public and stage a comedy show, the suggested place for the publicity is old Delhi. Accordingly the four re-locate, book a school auditorium to seat about 400 people, go around the city distributing leaflets, inviting the general public to attend the show. They get a houseful response, however, Albert's comedy act fails to impress. He then decides to try his hand in Pakistan, only to be told that he cannot get a visa for another 14 days. He decides to enter ...Written by
Sony Pictures Classics was originally going to distribute the film in the USA but chose not to, citing controversy over the film's title, which they wanted to change. Warner Independent Pictures then picked up the film for US distribution. See more »
The Indian flag shown in the Indian government office is upside down. The correct order of the flag is saffron at the top and green at the bottom. See more »
Man in Temple:
[giving example of what makes him laugh]
Okay. Laughter is a very serious business, I suppose. Ah, we put it this way. When suppose this gentleman... he is my friend. He takes me for a ride. He takes undue advantage... of my innocence, you can say. I am an emotional fool. He is trying to make me fool, but, I am not - a fool. I allow *him* to make me a fool. You know? Just be ignorant. I just trying to... pretend that okay: I know nothing about him. I know, ah, nothing about the, you know, game ...
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Tonight I watched the worldwide premiere of this movie at the Second Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) with Mr. Brooks attending. It was naturally a full house but I suspect this film will fade in obscurity quite fast. To start with, it was not funny. And it had nothing really to do with the Muslim World; after all the movie concentrates on India where Muslims are a minority. Finally the plot itself is flimsy and I kept wondering how could Mr. Brooks stretch it to a full length feature. And I find using such a controversial title a cheap way to draw inquisitive crowds. The movie has really very little to do with the DIFF motto of bridging cultures.
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