by Priya Mukhopadhyay – Stony Brook University
Have you ever felt as if you were in a tug of war between two worlds? Or even questioned traditions and customs that you at first grew to accept without really enquiring whether there is any validity behind them? Maybe you worked your hardest to achieve something that you wanted only to be criticized and doubted?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you will find yourself relating to Amrit Singh, the protagonist of Ocean of Pearls. I am usually drawn to films that focus on the South Asian diaspora but are in English. Ocean of Pearls falls into this category and is now easily one of my favorite movies of all time. No matter if you are South Asian or not, you can easily find yourself relating to the situations that befall on Amrit in this movie.
The award winning film focuses on Amrit, a Sikh doctor from a very religious and traditional Sikh family. Amrit moves to Detroit to serve as the potential new face of an extremely promising organ transplant program. Growing up in the Western world and then facing the dilemmas that his new job soon start to wear on Amrit. He begins to think that maybe the strict religious rules of his family may not be appropriate for the world that he lives in. He encounters numerous racial obstacles in his path to success that hinder him from achieving what he hopes and attaining the recognition he deserves. After a while, Amrit decides that in order to accomplish anything the way he wants, he must take a drastic decision that his family and traditions condemn.
Amrit finds himself dealing with changes in every aspect of his life: his career, his family, his relationship, and most drastically, his values. Ocean of Pearls explores the journey that Amrit takes to find himself when all he has known until now is confusion.
Ocean of Pearls is realistic and can appeal to a whole range of individuals, especially South Asians who often have to find a medium between adjusting to the way things are and the way their parents think things are.
You can check out the trailer below:
Ocean of Pearls is Directed by Sarab Singh Neelam