Mississippi Masala (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mississippi Masala1991

Mississippi Masala (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Mississippi Masala Photos

Movie Info

The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South are blended and simmered into a rich and fragrant fusion feast in Mira Nair's luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) finds herself helping to run a motel in the faraway land of Mississippi. It's there that a passionate romance with the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington) challenges the prejudices of their conservative families and exposes the rifts between the region's Indian and African American communities. Tackling thorny issues of racism, colorism, culture clash, and displacement with big-hearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and radical celebration of love's power to break down the barriers between us.


Denzel Washington
as Demetrius Williams
Joe Seneca
as Williben
Mohan Agashe
as Kanti Napkin
Tico Wells
as Dexter
Yvette Hawkins
as Aunt Rose
Anjan Srivastav
as Jammubhai
Varsha Thaker
as Kusumben
Ashok Lath
as Harry Patel
Natalie Oliver
as Alicia LeShay
Karen Pinkston
as Mrs. Morgan
Willy Cobbs
as Skillet
Mira Nair
as 1st Gossip
Rajika Puri
as 2nd Gossip
Rick Senn
as Piggly Wiggly Checker
Jim Haffey
as White Truck Driver
Dillon Rozell Gross
as Police Officer
E.W. Colvin
as Grandcraw
Joyce Murrah
as Lady at Lusco's
Kevin McNeil
as Clarence
Buddy St Amant
as Biloxi Cop
James Dale
as Businessman
Ben Burford
as Bank Manager
Sam Sherrill
as Phinias T. Turnbull
Sadie Carr
as Mildre
Richard Crick
as White Customer
Shung Moo-joo
as Chinese Customer
Jaimini Thaker
as Kanti Bhai
Hollis Pippin
as Sylvester Artiste III
Dewey Buffington
as Evangelist
Tony McGhee
as 1st Rapper
J.D. Barrett
as 2nd Rapper
Argentina Moore
as 4th Rapper
Nora Boland
as 1st Shop-at-Home Anchor Person
Patsy Garrett
as 2nd Shop-at-Home Anchor Person
Sahira Nair
as Young Mina
Michael Wawuyo
as Soldier on Bus
Phavin Parbario
as Young Jay
Emanuel Mudara
as Young Okelo
Immaculate Byakatonda
as Okelo's Mother
Amrit Panesar
as Mrs. Bedi
Jimmy Din
as Bharat
Mayambala Ssekasi
as Prison Captain
Joseph Olita
as Idi Amin
Muteta Wilberforce
as Soldier at Roadblock
View All

Critic Reviews for Mississippi Masala

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (8)

Mississippi Masala is full of good will, but it's not preachy and its story of romance in an ethnic broth is fascinating when it's working right.

June 14, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A movie that is not only accessible and earthy, but also innocent and wise.

March 25, 2021 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

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

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Surprisingly funny and cheerful at times.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Does the film have a beautiful, complex interracial relationship where both characters learn, grow? Yes! Does it dissect the very real, racist dynamics between minority groups often pitted against each other in a way that's not condescending? Yes!

January 11, 2022 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mississippi Masala


With a heartfelt charm and a boasting and bashful Denzel clicking with an up-&-coming Sarita, Mississippi Masala shadows its flaws by accentuating exotic vibes and solid storytelling. Director Mira Nair's solemn yet enriched direction is highlighting throughout this indie film. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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 of Mississippi.

Juli Ryan
Juli Ryan

Super Reviewer


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), 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.

Deb S
Deb S

Super Reviewer

Mississippi Masala Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features