Describe the acculturation level of at least 2 main film characters. What factors led you to make these determinations? Please elaborate using terminology and concepts from this course. Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (100 original word minimum; 50 original words each)
Character #1 (Samir)
Samir is the protagonist in the film titled Today’s Special’. When his boss, Dean Winters, choses another candidate to take over the running of the New York Restaurant, he becomes angry and quits. However, his meeting with Akbar introduces to the Indian cooking and culture marking the beginning of his success.
Character #2 (Akbar)
Abkar, a cook and a driver at the same time gets an opportunity to establish himself in the hotel industry. He blends well with Samir and the other workers in the restaurant and eventually updates the look of the restaurant, then manages to concoct magical and mouthwatering meals. This upgrades the restaurant to a renowned Indian restaurant in the New York City; the business also booms.
Did the film reveal any form of racism or stereotyping from any perspective? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (100 original words minimum 50 original words each)
The film revealed the stereotypic nature of Dean Winters, the former boss to Samir, and Hakim, Samir’s father. Dean Winters believes that Samir is not good enough to take over the business and instead prefers a 25 year old culinary whiz which makes him to quit. At the same time, when Samir’s mother initiates a move to have him settle with a young Indian girl, his father believes that he will always amount to nothing.
What purpose do you think it served in this film? Please elaborate using terminology and concepts from this course. Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples.
The stereotype brought out in this text helps Samir to know how to interact with the other people. He therefore finds it easy to interact and relate to both his father and Dean. He manages to walk away from his boss whom he believes will never give him an opportunity to advance in his career. At the same time, he ignores the father’s comments and pursues his dreams.
To what extent did the main characters fit or not fit the descriptions of the ethnic/religious/national group that you have read about in our text and learned about in other ways. Describe, Compare and/or Contrast. (100 original words minimum)
Both Samir and Akbar fit well in the ethnic and national groups. Raised as Indians, they are able to work among different groups of people in the New Yok City. This created one of the best Indian restaurants in the City. In the process, Samir falls in love with nan American actress notwithstanding the fact that he is an Indian Muslim. Akbar and Samir were also able to work and blend despite having been raised from different diverse backgrounds. This is one of the ways of fostering national unity.
What role did food play in the lives of the characters? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (100 original words minimum)
Food plays a very important role in the lives of the characters. It is out of Samir’s desire to excel in cooking that he meets with Akbar who teaches him how to make the Indian foods. At the same time, their proficiency in preparing good food, especially the magic of the masala that draws customers leading to the expansion of the business. Not only was the food delicious but it was only preferred in large groups fostering unity. It occupied such as special place in the hearts of the Indians that they could not do without it. This also helped Samir to build in his career.
What symbolism did food have? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (50 original words minimum)
Food in this film portrayed the symbol of unity; out of working together with Akbar, Samir’s passion in the restaurant industry made him to eventually reunite with his family when he takes over the management of the restaurant. At the same time, it was symbolic of culture; the Indian foods in this restaurant attracted a large number of Indians in the New York City (Johnson, 2010).
Medicinal value? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (50 original words minimum)
The concoct made by Akbar due to his eccentric knowledge was as a healing balm to many Indians that made the dish their favorite. This was like one of the missing pieces in the experience of Samir and Akbar gladly shows him how to do it. This eventually makes the restaurant grow and establish itself in the New York City.
Magico-religous? Please be specific and elaborate with details/examples. (50 original words minimum)
Apart from serving the medicinal purpose, Akbar’s concoct was both magical and mouthwatering. No wonder it became the most served food in the restaurant. The rise of the Indian restaurant is largely credited to the fact that they were able to make very good concoct in the entire New York City.
Did this film have any similarity with any of your own cultural experiences (food, family, values, experiences, religion, symbols)? Please describe, compare and/or contrast with details/examples. (100 original words minimum)
The same way food in this film serves the symbol of uniting different parties, a Tacos meal has always served to bring people together to celebrate culture. Commonly known as a social food, most people love it in social gatherings and at events, where it is a common food. At the same time, the stereotype portrayed in this film is similar to what happens in my culture whereby some individuals are easily dismissed in the platforms of opportunities because of formed perceptions about them (Johnson, 2010). Most common is the area of marriage whereby different ethnic groups have different stereotypic judgements.
Would you recommend this film as a positive or realistic portrayal of this group? Please be specific and elaborate. Please support your opinion with details/examples. (100 original word minimum)
I would recommend this film as a positive portrayal of the group. This is majorly due to Samir’s determination to beat all the challenges around stereotypes, discouragements, and fate to develop into a fine cook leading to the establishment of one of the best Indian restaurants in the New York City. His undented hopes for a career in the food industry eventually see him take over the family restaurant that had gone insolvent and at the verge of closure; his father had contemplated selling it but reconsidered his decision and they end up as one happy family. The film ends by the two hugging one another.
Johnson, AG. (2010, Mar 7). Aasif Mandvi’s “Today’s Special’ opens festival. San Francisco Chronicle.