My Son the Fanatic
Novelist-screenwriter Hanif Kureishi demonstrates his usual postcolonial wit in My Son the Fanatic. The smart and quirky film focuses on Pakistanis in working-class northern England. The vicissitudes of race, capitalism, and religious extremism are crashing down upon Parvez (Om Puri), a cabbie whose son has rejected his English fiancée and embraced Islamic fundamentalism. Social, cultural, and moral dilemmas are layered upon Parvez-in addition to his fanatic son, he's developing a deep attraction for Bettina (Rachel Griffiths), one of the prostitutes he taxis around. A friend's successful restaurant business has him reconsidering his economic choices. Kureshi's dark humor keeps the film lively, while Puri's top-notch performance as the worried, wearied father make My Son the Fanatic an outstanding treat.
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