My Son The Fanatic

"OK"

My Son The Fanatic Review


In "My Son the Fanatic," a Pakistani cabbieis forced to face a moral and cultural crisis after 25 years of assimilationinto English life in London.

His son has broken off an engagement to a police chief'sdaughter -- a move the family saw as a step up into white society eventhough their future in-laws belittled them -- and has joined a fundamentalistMuslim sect, questioning almost everything about his father's Westernizedlifestyle, especially his habit of ferrying prostitutes for fares.

A humble and reserved man, Parvez (Om Puri) is at a losswhat to do when his family starts to break apart in the wake of this religiousupheaval. He begins spending more time in his cab than ever before justto get away, especially after the son offers room and board to his sect'sleader -- who takes over the household and regulates Parvez' wife to practicalservitude.

Estranged from both his son (over philosophical differences)and his wife (over marital problems stemming from his absence and distance),Parvez turns for solace to Bettina (Rachel Griffiths), one of his clientprostitutes who has fallen for him for no other reason than his deep andheartfelt kindness.

With frustration down every avenue, Parvez begins to examinehis life -- and he beings to drink.

His son becomes sullen extremist, telling him "You'veswallowed white and Jewish propaganda," and Parvez begins to wonderhow much of what the boy says is true. His wife has becomes complacentto the Muslim cleric and his entourage. Bettina, who pretends to be a happy-go-luckygirl (although she isn't very good at it) continues to turn tricks, givingParvez very conflicted emotions on that front. Then there's Mr. Schitz(Stellan Skarsgard), a boisterous creep of a German businessman and a frequentfare, who tips big but is quite ridiculing to Parvez, calling him "littleman," requesting Bettina's services night after night and encouraginghim to live a more free lifestyle.

His inner conflict comes to a head when his son's activistgroup begins attacking street walkers, putting Parvez in the middle betweenhis son and his unlikely lover.

"My Son the Fanatic" has a light touch of humor,but it turns on turmoil, not unlike "My Beautiful Launderette,"screenwriter Hanif Kureishi's breakthrough film. But while the story isunpredictable, perceptive and strongly-directed (by British TV veteranUdayan Prasad), there isn't much here for the uninitiated. Unless you havesome special draw to the cultural conflicts facing these characters, it'sjust not all that interesting -- aside from the understated but astuteperformances of Puri (quot;The Ghost and the Darkness") and Griffiths("Hilary and Jackie"), who continues to prove her Oscar-worthinessafter losing out to Judi Dench at last year's Academy Awards.



My Son The Fanatic

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 7th January 1998

Box Office Worldwide: $408.3 thousand

Distributed by: Miramax

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Parvez, as Bettina / Sandra, as Farid

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.