Curved Roads, a raucous India road trip film, takes a fresh fun look at globalization. Traveling on India’s chaotic roads – where accidents, strange subcultures and bandits still lurk around every turn -- truth is always stranger than fiction.
Our quirky characters’ trek through India’s confusion and warmth becomes a collective journey to a deeper understanding of how we are all changing in this rapidly Americanizing world. Badri, Chickie, and the Gaurav chase their goals (a new job, Bollywood stardom, and escape from med school), with equally hilarious and sublime results.
The group’s journey across a fast changing land mirrors the three young adults’ struggle to define themselves.
Working on Thanksgiving Day at his deserted corporate Manhattan HQ, Badri, a fast rising executive, catches his bosses in an incriminating situation. He is promptly sent to India to take charge of a conveniently troubled outsourcing unit. Recently divorced, living way beyond his means, and happy with his empty yuppie life, India is the last place that Badri wants to go – a place he worked so hard to leave.
In Bombay, Gaurav, Badri’s Hip-Hop spouting American cousin, and the hired driver Jamal, join Badri for the road trip to his new job in his old hometown. They follow a surly trucker carrying Badri’s prized Corvette.
The first of many diversions brings Chickie, an aspiring British-Indian Bollywood starlet, to the group. She convinces Badri to help her find Shankar Kapoor, a film producer who seduced and robbed her…kind of. The ensuing complications, including some unintentional heroics by Gaurav and the Corvette’s loss, lead to misadventures in unexpected places. A series of behind-the-scenes stops at dreamy Bollywood song shoots and a brief interlude at a rustic village talent show punctuate the journey.
The characters’ light-hearted antics juxtapose with the periodic encroachment of their “real life” issues. A penniless Chickie, increasingly disheartened by her repeated failure to catch Shankar Kapoor, has no choice but to remain in pursuit. A self-destructing Gaurav is urged by Jamal, whose life he saved, to continue medical school, while Badri, only after much confusion, learns that his company in the US has collapsed and his bosses fled, leaving him jobless.
As the characters’ lives unravel, awareness emerges by both chance and soul searching. Chickie learns the man who robbed her was not Shankar Kapoor, but an imposter, and is granted a screen test by the real director when she mistakenly confronts him. After much reflection and with Jamal’s inspiration, Gaurav decides to complete med school. Leaving Badri with the longest road to resolution.
Having lost everything that defined him: wife, money, job, Corvette, Badri gains wisdom from an idealistic schoolgirl under a long-neglected statue of Mahatma Gandhi. He returns to the idyllic village of his youth, now an ugly congested suburb. As Badri draws comfort from his timeless childhood home and quirky mother, a warped decision he made in America threatens their very existence. Confronted with the challenge of putting others ahead of himself for the first time in his life, Badri takes the first steps towards regaining the soul he gave up on the climb to the top.