Dr. Cabbie is a fusion of Hollywood and Bollywood. Although the combination sounds overwhelming, it has a refreshing—and sometimes hilarious—point of view of immigration, education, and employment.
The story hits close to home, taking place in Toronto. Vinay Virmani (known for his role in Breakaway) plays Deepak, the Indian medical student who immigrated to Canada in hopes of becoming a doctor.
Deepak, after years of studying, obtains his medical degree from a prestigious medical school in India. Little does he know that the piece of paper is useless in Canada. Dr. Cabbie is a retelling of the immigrant story: people leaving their homes and high-paying jobs to migrate to a new country, only to face unemployment.
Deepak has the qualifications to be a doctor, but is undervalued and not up to par with Canada’s training. What does an immigrant with an educated background do in the “land of opportunities”? Drive a taxi. The only twist in this movie that made it different from every other immigrant story was the humorous idea of Deepak running his own clinic… in his taxi.
The humour in Dr. Cabbie is very spontaneous, but also very stereotypical. It’s as if most of the jokes were written by Russell Peters and that the only way they could get away with it was that they are the minority being talked about. There were cringe-worthy moments, such as the sentence, “Once you go brown, you will never frown.” Definitely Russell Peters material. The comedic aspect of the movie mostly revolved around Deepak’s obnoxious, flirtatious friend Tony (Kunal Nayyar, The Big Bang Theory). Tony provides comic relief to the serious matter at hand.
The real Bollywood aspect of the movie was the dance number and the fact that the producer was Salman Khan, an iconic figure in Bollywood.
Overall, there was a bit of depth in the subject matter, which was essentially diversity. In some ways, the movie addresses controversial issues, but delivers them comfortably through humour and dialogue that make them easier to digest.