DreamMovie #11: It's A Family Affair

As long as these threads remain open, don't hesitate to add your own contributions.

Even if you didn't take part in the round, please do share your "bickering family" movie ideas, if you've still got any.

When retired WWII vet, Army Sergeant Major Greg Emerson (Clint Eastwood) is diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and told he has less than a year left to live, he begins to set his affairs in order. One of these affairs in need of straightening is reconciling with his estranged son, Anthony Emerson (Aaron Eckhart), a pacifist.

20 years ago, the 2 of them had a falling out due to Aaron's pacifist beliefs and death of his brother in the Army who was KIA during the first Gulf War. Now Greg believes that it's time to bury the hatchet and set things right before it's too late.
In spite of a strong ensemble cast and solid premise, I just realized the timeframe of this movie is a little unclear to me:

* WWII vet = at least 18 when the war ended in 1945; born circa 1927

* Operation Desert Storm (first Gulf War) = 1990, by which time Sgt. Maj. Emerson should be about 63

How old was Anthony's brother when he died? Presumably, he was older than Anthony. And it's quite possible that he was already a tenured commanding officer. But if so, then it's likely that Anthony was *already* a pacifist, to begin with, when the Gulf War broke out, and his brother's death just reinforced his beliefs further.

Other than that messy timeframe, it's a cool idea, and definitely does have a "modern indie Greek tragedy" feel to it.
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I know I started this round with the intent to do a DreamMOVIE, but this is actually more like a pilot for a prospective TV series, a kind of family saga/soap opera for the globalization era. It's a little idea I like to call...

fast company
Meet the new face of Corporate America.


[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/ajaynaidu.jpg[/IMGL]Ajay Naidu (K-PAX, The Guru) plays Vikram "Vik" Naipaul, an idealistic 35-year-old Indian-American venture capitalist, whose dream is to create affordable $50 laptops, especially for use in his parents' home province of Kerala, India.

Vik believes he's getting one step closer to that dream, when an old college buddy, Ash, invites him to work for his family's business, Ramesh Technologies, which is the parent company of Max Logic, a pioneering semiconductor firm. Vik eagerly accepts the position, quitting his job in bustling Austin, Texas to relocate to lush Menlo Park in California's Silicon Valley.

What Vik doesn't realize is that his main responsibility will be to prevent Ash and his scheming adult siblings from screwing up the company's operations. Meanwhile, their dad, Max Logic founder Vinod Ramesh, begins to succumb to early onset Alzheimer's.

If that wasn't difficult enough, Vik must fend off the manipulations of charismatic rival businessman Hal DeWitt, whose techno-utopian world-changing rhetoric may hide a more sinister agenda.


Vik's ideals and sense of responsibility frequently bring him into conflict with his employers, the Rameshes, including:

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/ajaymehta.jpg[/IMGL]Ajay Mehta (Americanizing Shelly, and perennial "Hey It's That Well-Educated Indian Guy" from various TV shows) as Vinod "Noddy" Ramesh, a self-made multi-millionaire.

Circa 1968: emigrated to the US

Circa 1988: founded Max Logic, and gradually shaped it into a global brand leader in microprocessor design and sales

Circa 2008: contemplating stepping down as its Chairman and CEO, having been recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (a secret that he has kept, thus far, from his wife and children).

Noddy's professional career is loosely patterned after Dr. Suhas Patil, real life founder of Cirrus Logic.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/madhurjaffrey.jpg[/IMGL]Madhur Jaffrey (Partition, Chutney Popcorn) as Anjali Ramesh, the matriarch. She was born into a wealthy business clan from Mumbai (Bombay), and was educated in Britain. She moved to the US to get away from her controlling family, and was attracted to Noddy Ramesh, with his can-do attitude. Opinionated but proper, she has never quite escaped from the socialite airs of her upbringing. Anjali remains a prominent figure in elite circles, even outside the Southern California Indian/Desi community.

Anjali urges Vik to set more realistic expectations, lest he end up like Noddy: regretful and disappointed, in spite of his massive achievements.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/aasifmandvi.jpg[/IMGL]Aasif Mandvi (Jericho, The Daily Show) as Vijay "Veej" Ramesh, ruthless eldest son of Vinod and Anjali Ramesh, and heir apparent to Max Logic. Currently in his early 40s, Veej practically grew up with the booming Silicon Valley tech industry, and has become very accustomed to its numerous spoils.

He has recently restructured the company along the "fabless" model, by outsourcing fabrication ("fabbing") of the semiconductors to overseas manufacturers.

It is established that Veej is married to Lakshmi Kapur, the heiress of an established political family from New Delhi, with whom he has young twin daughters. However, they do not appear to have much of a presence in his life, and he is most frequently seen attempting to secure deals with prospective clients, usually involving some kind of unsavory activity (Russian escorts, horse tranquilizers, etc.) Likewise, Veej is not afraid to supervise the dirty work involved in the family business (shredding documents; hiding paper trails).

In spite of his active participation in these tactics, he self-righteously dismisses them as necessary job obligations, and wholeheartedly embraces the "model minority" public image usually attributed to Indians in America.

Veej rarely hesitates to voice his resentment towards Vik's involvement with Ramesh Technologies.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/saritachaughdry.jpg[/IMGL]Sarita Choughdry (Mississippi Masala, Lady in the Water) as Shalini Ramesh, ambitious, power dressing, unmarried daughter in her late 30s. She is Vice President of Marketing for Ramesh Technologies. She is normally under-estimated by her parents, due to a previous failed marketing campaign that attempted to compete with Intel's extensive advertising. She remains convinced that she can successfully rebrand Max Logic, if Vinod gives her the opportunity and funding to do so.

Shalini's reserved (almost prudish) demeanor is a strategic feint, which she drops, once she finds an intellectual equal in Vik, and a budding relationship develops between them. However, this is possibly cut short by the involvement of Hal DeWitt, and the arrival of Vik's (white) ex wife, Lora.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/maulikpancholy.jpg[/IMGL]Maulik Pancholy (Weeds, 30 Rock) as Ashwin "The Ash Man" Ramesh, irresponsible playboy in his mid 30s. Full-time bum and professional moocher, Ash is usually found hobnobbing with the various celebrities who make their home in Silicon Valley. In spite of his vapid behavior, he shows occasional hints of brilliance. But mostly, he just wastes his skills on lavish, unprofitable vanity projects.

He became unlikely friends with Vik in college, as one of the few "American-Born Desis" at their East Coast business school, in the early 90s.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/navirawat.jpg[/IMGL]Navi Rawat (Numb3rs, The OC) as Shabana "Ana" Ramesh, (supposedly) adopted daughter in her late 20s. Fame-hungry wild child with a taste for expensive designer labels, and cheap men. Indulges a parade of hangers-on and gold diggers, because she loves the attention. She may (or may not) be the illegitimate daughter of Anjali from a torrid affair.

Other characters whom Vik must conted with include:

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/benkingsley.jpg[/IMGL]Ben Kingsley (Ghandi, Lucky Number Slevin) as Hamish Joseph, the Ramesh family's trusted attorney. Pragmatic and efficient. After overcoming his initial suspicions about Vik, he confides to him about his shocking discovery: Noddy may be secretly embezzling from the Ramesh Technologies fortune.

[IMGL]http://www.dumplingpress.com/kalokohan/fastcompany/anthonymichaelhall.jpg[/IMGL]Anthony Michael Hall (Pirates of Silicon Valley, The Dead Zone) as Hal DeWitt, a Steve Jobs-esque visionary who's quite fond of high-minded rhetoric about changing the world through technology. Vik's gut tells him to distrust DeWitt's proposal of a business deal with the Rameshes. But could it be plain old jealously on Vik's part?
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