Synopsis by Mark Deming
A big bag of money and fish equals nothing but trouble for an expatriate Indian in Karma Local. Bali (Darshan Bhagat) is a young man who has just arrived in New York from India. His uncle, who sponsored his emigration to the United States, thinks Bali is lazy and gets him a job manning a newsstand in the subway. One day, a regular customer named Charlie (Josh Pais) dashes up the stand while being chased by a group of large and very unfriendly men; Charlie quickly hands Bali a large and foul smelling bag that turns out to be full of fish -- and a large amount of cash. Bali fully intends to hold on to the money for Charlie, but Charlie owes most of the loot to a thug named Balthazar (Don Creech) who doesn't really care who has the money -- or who he has to hurt to get it back. Solid performances and a streetwise flavor are the strong points of this drama, the first feature from director and star Darshan Bhagat, which was screened at the 1999 San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival.