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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.