2012 Running time: 94 Certificate: 12 Rating: 2

Synopsis

East Is East writer Ayub Khan-Din returns with another bittersweet tale of clashing generations amidst a close-knit Asian community in Lancashire. Following their traditional Bolton-Hindi wedding, events conspire to prevent newlyweds Anil (Reece Ritchie) and Vina (Amara Karan) from consummating their marriage. If having a bedroom next to Adil's overbearing father (Harish Patel) wasn't bad enough, the pressure really builds when news of their little problem hits the local gossip network. Meera Syal reprises her maternal role from Khan-Din's stage comedy, while Nigel 'Calendar Girls' Cole directs.

Director

  • Nigel Cole

Cast

  • Reece Ritchie

  • Amara Karan

  • Meera Syal

  • Harish Patel

Review

Like the case of consummation constipation at its core, this potentially lively union between Made In Dagenham director Nigel Cole and East Is East scribe Khan-Din can't quite keep it up. The comedy, that is.

It starts amusingly enough, with young Boltonian Atul (Ritchie) seemingly doomed never to "make a woman" of his new bride Vina (St Trinian's graduate Karan).

The main problem is his pompous dad (Harish Patel) who continually ruins the mood, whether by drunkenly intruding, snoring or exercising his own conjugal rights in the bedroom next door.

But as time and virginity wear on, Atul's performance anxiety not only makes him a laughing stock, but leads him to question both his love and his loved ones. Which isn't funny, and isn't meant to be.

Unfortunately, once the film begins its descent into melancholy, it struggles to get out. Oh, it's not without chuckles, though they come with a knowing nudge rather than a full-on "phwoar" ("I love a good monsoon dance sequence," leers Atul's projectionist boss at the Bollywood stars writhing on-screen).

And with Patel reclaiming his place next to stage wife Meera Syal, it certainly has dignity and heart.

But the sadness behind many of the characters - coupled with Atul's endless sulking - make it a surprisingly dour watch.

It's also eye-rollingly predictable, from the Anglo-Asian stereotypes to the reason Eeshwar's best friend mysteriously decided to get out of his life all those years ago.

A Good Time that doesn't quite roll.

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