Rekha has a bad temper and a bad case of writer’s block. While she lashes out at everyone around her, her life spirals further and further out of control. One by one, her friends are moving on with life, while Rekha is stuck in her dead-end waitressing job. And, unlike her friends, she doesn’t have her parents to fall back on when times get rough.
But one day, Rekha overhears surprising news about her newly surfaced, suddenly rich father, a man absent from her life for over ten years. She decides it’s time to confront him and make him pay for all the trouble he’s caused her since he left. Rekha convinces her best friend, Omar, to take her on a road trip to find her father. Along the way, they rekindle a messy romance, and when Rekha finally sees her father for who he is, she must decide whether to stay mired in her quarterlife crisis, or if it’s time to finally grow up.
We’ve seen the movies about arranged marriages, dramatic weddings, spicy cooking, and mystical mango trees. We’ve seen the Indian-American identity crises, the call centers, and the repressive parents. South Asians in the media are often exotified, mocked with overwrought accents, or cast as geeks or terrorists – but the good news is that these perceptions are starting to change, andTroublemaker is part of that change.
Troublemaker is a universal coming-of-age story that happens to have a South Asian-American protagonist. It’s relatable to anyone who has ever been in dire economic straits, or been desperate to find a viable career path, and it also speaks to anyone struggling with the task of growing gracefully into adulthood while trying to come to terms with a dysfunctional past. It appeals, and applies, to a varied and diverse audience in an increasingly diverse world. The judgment of others, the depth of alienation, and the inability to cope with abandonment are all universally relatable themes, and we see this story through the lens of our protagonist’s distinctive, irresponsible, selfish, and ultimately compelling personality.
Troublemaker is a film that hasn’t been made before, and it tells a gritty, realistic story full of heart, humor, and hope. It doesn’t pull punches, and its raw sensibility is what makes it a unique experience in a progressively more savvy and diverse global marketplace.