Karim's mother is English and his father is Indian. Therefore Karim has some problems with life in British society which is becoming more and more racist and intolerant; he experiences this... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Karim Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
 Shadwell (4 episodes, 1993)
 Margaret Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
Nisha Nayar ...
 Jamila (4 episodes, 1993)
Surendra Kochar ...
 Jeela (4 episodes, 1993)
Badi Uzzaman ...
 Anwar (4 episodes, 1993)
 Haroon Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
Assam Mamodeally ...
 Allie Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
 Charlie Kay (4 episodes, 1993)
 Eva Kay (4 episodes, 1993)
 Changez (3 episodes, 1993)
Janet Dale ...
 Auntie Jean (3 episodes, 1993)
 Uncle Ted (3 episodes, 1993)
Tom Gregory ...
 The Fish (3 episodes, 1993)
 Shinko (3 episodes, 1993)
 Matthew Pyke (2 episodes, 1993)
Maureen Hibbert ...
 Tracey (2 episodes, 1993)
 Terry (2 episodes, 1993)
Henrietta Bass ...
 Carol (2 episodes, 1993)
Vicky Murdock ...
 Helen (2 episodes, 1993)
William Chubb ...
 Richard (2 episodes, 1993)
Sarah Neville ...
 Marlene Pyke (2 episodes, 1993)
Kim Fenton ...
 John (2 episodes, 1993)


Karim's mother is English and his father is Indian. Therefore Karim has some problems with life in British society which is becoming more and more racist and intolerant; he experiences this especially when he wants to find himself a way of becoming an actor. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 November 1993 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Esikaupunkien Buddha  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (4 episodes)

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Did You Know?


Referenced in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »


The Buddha of Suburbia
(Main Theme)
Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of BMG International
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User Reviews

Meandering memoire of mindless muddiness
17 January 2000 | by (Norfolk, VA) – See all my reviews

Having enjoyed the quirky little "My Beautiful Laundrette," I was most disappointed by "The Buddha of Suburbia." The film is a disaster from beginning to end, and has the feeling that length was the sole purpose, as one sometimes feels when reading less-inspired 19th-century novels whose authors were paid by the word.

There are nearly an hour's worth of shots of people walking up stairs, crossing streets, and standing silently which would have been edited by any other director. There is truly no reason in the world for it to have gone over two hours. Furthermore, the production is shoddy. Lighting is bad, lines are mumbled, blocking awkward.

There is no "plot" per se, no shape to this massive mess. There are clues that it goes from the beginning to the end of the 70s, yet the events feel more like a three-year span.

The subject simply appears to be the myriad ways in which the people in young Karim's life find to ruin their happiness. Their confusions range from hopeless dedication to old-country ways, (arranged marriages), to faddish spirituality, the constriction of "liberating" politics, disposable families, drugs, etc.

With a theme like this, we want a character who struggles against the tides of spiritual emptiness. Karim's mother and brother might have fit the bill as the only characters with common sense, but they are virtually ignored.

Instead, the main character is Karim, who drifts helplessly on the currents that mangle the lives of those close to him. Life simply happens to Karim, everything that transpires is the result of someone else's plans. Only in the latter half of the film does he actually have any kind of goal at all (becoming an actor).

Never does he ever rise beyond being more than a helpless figure trying to be "nice," whether that means being a peacemaker, a lover, or a friend, or trying all three to find that none of them work. His relationships happen to him, and when they go south, he is unable do much more than voice a vague sense of complaint.

Now characters like this have excellent potential; consider "The Stranger," "Zelig," "The World According to Garp," or "Being There." But Karim is so dedicated to helplessness that our sympathies are never engaged for him.

And without a sympathetic character, a memorable line of dialogue, or even a sense of purpose, "The Buddha of Suburbia" is a waste.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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