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Denzel Washington, Sarita Choudhury, Roshan Seth, Sharmila Tagore, Charles S. Dutton ... see more see more... , Joe Seneca , Ranjit Chowdhry , Mohan Gokhale , Mohan Agashe , Tico Wells , Yvette Hawkins , Anjan Srivastava , Dipti Suthar , J.D. Barrett , Nora Boland , Mahlon Bouldin , Dewey Buffington , Ben Burford , Immaculate Byakatonda , Sadie Carr , Willy Cobbs , E.W. Colvin , Richard Crick , Jimmy Din , Patsy Garrett , Dillon Rozell Gross , Jim Haffey , Larry Haggard , Cyreio Hughes , Ashok Lath , Bonnie M. Lubega , Reverend Fred Matthews , Konga Mbandu , Tony McGhee , Kevin McNeil , Shung Moo-joo , Argentina Moore , Emanuel Mudara , Joyce Murrah , Sahira Nair , Joseph Olita , Natalie Oliver , Amrit Panesar , Phavin Parbario , Karen Pinkston , Hollis Pippin , Rajika Puri , Alix Henry Sanders , Alix W. Sanders , Sammy E.D. Senkumba , Rick Senn , Sam Sherrill , Tre'demont Spearman , Mayambala Ssekasi , Buddy St Amant , Stacy Swinford , Jaimini Thaker , Varsha Thaker , Michael Wawuyo , Jerone Wiggins , Muteta Wilberforce , Sharon Williams , Mira Nair , James Dale , Anjan Srivastav

Mississippi Masala is a tale of how prejudice makes victims and instigators of us all. In 1972, Indian Jay (Roshan Seth), a resident of Uganda, is forced by the bigoted Amin regime to take his family ... read more read more...and flee the country. He vows to hate and distrust all blacks--at least until he is able to reclaim the real estate stolen from him by the Ugandan government. Flash-forward to 1990: Jay and his family have settled in Mississippi. Seth's daughter Mina (Sarit Choudhury) makes the acquaintance of African-American Demetrius (Denzel Washington), the prosperous manager of a carpet-cleaning business. At first attracted to Mina because he is fascinated by her African background, Demetrius slowly falls in love with her. The situation causes Jay to exercise the same racial prejudice by which he was himself victimized. Ironically, Demetrius behaves just as foolishly, blaming Jay's ethnic chauvinism for a drop in his business. Both Jay and Demetrius must learn to bury their pasts and their prejudices to go on with their lives. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Flixster Users

64% liked it

7,013 ratings

Critics

80% liked it

20 critics

R, 1 hr. 58 min.

Directed by: Mira Nair

Release Date: January 1, 1991

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DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003

Stats: 256 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (256)


  • March 3, 2008
    Very Romeo and Juilet like love story seeped in cultural differences and misconceptions. Great film. Mira Nair is fantastic.
  • February 5, 2010
    The merging of cultures makes for an enchanting love story that gets waylaid by issues of race and color in a believable way. Mina (Sarita Choudhury) is the daughter of an Indian family who fled Uganda for Mississippi. She develops a relationship with Demetrius (Denzel Washington... read more), a local man. Her family does not approve of her dating a black man, and Demetrius' friends don't like him dating an Indian woman. Lighter-skinned than the blacks, the Indians abhor the notion of interracial romance. The love affair between these two draws out the anger of their two communities and the whites in town. Nobody, it seems, approves of this unusual mix or as the film title implies, this Mississippi Masala.
    Denzel Washington is an actor of immense and natural charm, and he makes a good match with Sarita Choudhury.
  • September 18, 2010
    There is too much going on in this movie. It is really a masala of three movies. A story about leaving Uganda, a love story, and a story about living in the south. Any one of these stories would have been enough for a movie. But it is still heartwarming and funny. Beautiful shots... read more of Mississippi.
  • May 30, 2007
    Good movie!
  • July 30, 2011
    Wasn't expecting to like it, but it wasn't so bad. Interesting plot. It made a good point, I thought.
  • June 8, 2011
    even though this movie was made back in 1991...i never thought it would become part of my personal life in 2011!!!,,,,(wink!)..
  • July 14, 2010
    I'll have to give this movie another try. i remember not liking it very much because I'm not into romance stories...they make me nauseated. That's why I can't watch Bollywood movies.
    Mira likes to make controversial films hence it makes sense for her to pick a taboo topic..an I... read morendian girl dating an African American man. It's not as big of a deal as she makes it out to be however. Maybe that's why I didn't find this film as interesting as some of her other work.
  • July 29, 2009
    Passion. Tradition. Prejudice. Put the three together, and they all get the recipe of a sexy, irreverent romance interracial romance called Mississippi Masala. Mina - the daughter of Indian immigrants who were expelled from Uganda under the reign of dictator Idi Amin and n... read moreow run a small-time motel - is a hot, spicy mix of Indian and American cultures. Demetrius is a Southern businessman and the motel's rug cleaner. But when they both fall in love, nothing in Mina's past prepares them for the family outrage they face.

    Directed by Mira Nair, Mississippi Masala features great acting performances from the following cast:
    1.) Denzel Washington (Demetrius)
    2.) Roshan Seth (Jay)
    3.) Sarita Choudhury (Mina)
    4.) Sharmila Tagore (Kinnu)
    5.) Charles S. Dutton (Tyrone)
    6.) Joe Seneca (Williben)

    I find Mississippi Masala as a great film example of a romantic drama focusing on interracial love while blurring out the racial, ethnic, and cultural barriers that keep our leading characters apart yet committed to each other. That fascinated me, and so did the past Uganda flashbacks and the feelings of Jay living in an exiled life while yearning to return to his homeland. It was interesting that the film's setting is in the Southern states, where the long history of racism kept the blacks and whites socially segregated until recent times. Here in Masala Mina and Demetrius fall in love, which proves that interracial relationships do work, and both Sarita and Denzel made this possible.
  • October 8, 2008
    What a wonderful romance about interracial dating and love. People will see that even people of Color can be some bigots. Denzel and Sarita heat up the screen.
  • January 20, 2008
    Denzel and Sarita did a good Job! A very good movie, if you ever been to Ms, then you know this movie was film there for real! I know i just left there in Oct 07! But it is a good lesson on race and how not only black and white have issues but races from other countries also h... read moreave issues with black people when they come to this country!

Critic Reviews


Desson Thomson
January 1, 2000
Desson Thomson, Washington Post

It may be longwinded here and there, but Mississippi Masala jumps with life. Full Review

Rita Kempley
January 1, 2000
Rita Kempley, Washington Post

An utterly infectious romance between an African American and an Indian African emigre, this seductively funny film measures the pull of roots against the tug of heartstrings. Full Review

Roger Ebert
January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Surprisingly funny and cheerful at times. Full Review

Emanuel Levy
October 4, 2006
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

Unlike Lee's Jungle Fever, which also deals with interracial romance, Nair's film is non-judgmental, taking neither moral ground nor faulting any group. Released when national boundaries were crumblin... Full Review

Frank Ochieng
May 28, 2003
Frank Ochieng, TheWorldJournal.com

Washington and Choudhury definitely make for an attractive ethnic couple in Nair's cross-cultural love story. However, this staid romancer doesn't escape the distinction of its conventional makeup.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
August 29, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice

Challenges us to add more respect and tolerance to America's cultural stew of many colors. Full Review

Michael Szymanski
August 21, 2002
Michael Szymanski, Zap2it.com

Zesty, spicy, sexy!

Stephen Farber
January 9, 2002
Stephen Farber, Movieline

Nair and her screenwriter, Sooni Taraporevala, sometimes lose their focus trying to juggle half a dozen subplots. But it's nice to see a movie with a broad reach. Full Review

Chris Hicks
January 1, 2000
Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This is a film with something to say, something discriminating adults should find both entertaining and enlightening. Full Review

Owen Gleiberman
September 7, 2011
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Click to read the article Full Review

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