The first fruit of a co-production agreement between Australia and India, this cross-cultural love story follows a formulaic and predictable path, though the occasional flashes of Bollywood extravagance amid the naturalist domestic melodrama remind us not to take it too seriously.

Its major achievement is that it seeks to make a leading man of former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, and he doesn't by any means make a complete fool of himself: the lean, toothy surfie-blond pace bowler oozes a down-to-earth decency and, as they say of lower-order batsmen, he holds his end up.

It's a casting masterstroke, of course: the one thing Indians love more than Bollywood is cricket, so the film has a ready market of more than a billion.

Lee plays Wills, teacher of "Aussie English" to new immigrants (cue laughs about the pronunciation of "mate" and students saying "thrower", when they mean "tosser"), who repeatedly bumps into Meera (Chatterjee, who took the lead role in the 2007 film of Monica Ali's Brick Lane). He's soon smitten.

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The mother of Smitha (Sathi), Meera is solo for reasons that are not immediately explained, but that mystery is not the only obstacle to his courtship: her parents - energetically acted caricatures by veteran Khurana and Pathak - are lining her up with a rich, arrogant doctor.

Writer Thusha Sathi's script, which has some terribly clunky exposition, suffers somewhat from trying to cram too much in - immigrant identity, Indian gender roles, cochlear implants and the politics of tertiary education all get a trot - and there's a sense that the film is trying to be all things to all people.

The push for Sydney Tourism (whose logo is on the credits) is a bit jarring too: the music for a lovers'-day-out split-screen sequence is a soaring song called Fall in Love with Sydney and a late-film crisis feels rather forced.

But it's an undemanding and sometimes charming example of the genre.


Movie: UnIndian
Cast: Brett Lee, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Maya Sathi, Akash Khurana, Supriya Pathak
Director: Anupam Sharma
Running Time: 192 mins
Rating: M (sex scenes) In English and Hindi with English subtitles
Verdict: Predictable but not without charm.