The Last Conception
26 Sept 2021
Nazanin Mandi, Callie Schuttera, Matt Richards, Veena Bidasha, Marshall Manesh
The fact that a young Indian-American woman is attracted to other women creates complications for her family.
Savarna Sikand (Mandi) works as an embryologist at an IVF clinic and is in a happy relationship with university student Charley (Schuttera). When she decides to tell the news to her family, initially they are surprised but eventually they accept the facts. However, things change when it is discovered that the Sikand family are Buddhists and are actually direct descendants of Buddha, meaning that it is up to Savarna to maintain that honour by having a child. This causes her to get stuck in a dilemma between honouring her family and following her own wishes.
This lighthearted romantic comedy is based on a book by Constans, who also wrote the screenplay. It deals with family values, relationships, friendships, the idea of supporting one another, self-discovery and religion. There is clever humour, well-written characters and the plot is intriguing. It is entertaining watching how the protagonists react to situations and attempt to find solutions and it does have sentimental scenes as well.
The story deals a lot with Buddhism and there are plenty of elements related to that religion to be seen, including monks wearing traditional clothing and engaging in relevant religious activities such as meditation and praying. There are also scenes that take place in Buddhist temples, filled with statues and decorations. The film also provides an insight into Indian traditions and includes characters wearing traditional clothing.
The acting is fine with Mandi leads the film well as an intelligent individual who wants the best solution to her problems. Richards is amusing and emotional with his presence as a cheerful guy who always looks at the bright side of things. The actors who play members of Savarna's family portray caring people.
Regarding the soundtrack, it contains conventional Indian music, that develops a feeling that this movie is about Indian people. There is also a comical score that accompanies the comedic scenes effectively. Ledesma does a great job as director and creates wonderful establishing shots of buildings and neighbourhoods.
This comedy is a character study and a decent viewing. Well acted with a story that is interesting to follow, it manages to provide a fair amount of amusement.