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"The Buddha of Suburbia"
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"The Buddha of Suburbia" (1993) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1993-

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Hanif Kureishi (novel)
Hanif Kureishi (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Buddha of Suburbia on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 November 1993 (UK) See more »
Karim's mother is English and his father is Indian. Therefore Karim has some problems with life in British... See more »
1 win & 6 nominations See more »
(13 articles)
David Bowie dies aged 69
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User Reviews:
Meandering memoire of mindless muddiness See more (8 total) »


 (Series Cast [54])

Naveen Andrews ... Karim Amir (4 episodes, 1993)

David Bamber ... Shadwell (4 episodes, 1993)

Harish Patel ... Changez (4 episodes, 1993)

Brenda Blethyn ... Margaret Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
Nisha Nayar ... Jamila (4 episodes, 1993)
Surendra Kochar ... Jeela (4 episodes, 1993)
Badi Uzzaman ... Anwar (4 episodes, 1993)
Janet Dale ... Auntie Jean (4 episodes, 1993)

Roshan Seth ... Haroon Amir (4 episodes, 1993)
Shona Morris ... Shona (4 episodes, 1993)

Donald Sumpter ... Matthew Pyke (4 episodes, 1993)
Maureen Hibbert ... Tracey (4 episodes, 1993)
Assam Mamodeally ... Allie Amir (4 episodes, 1993)

Steven Mackintosh ... Charlie Kay (4 episodes, 1993)

John McEnery ... Uncle Ted (4 episodes, 1993)

Susan Fleetwood ... Eva Kay (4 episodes, 1993)

Jason Watkins ... Terry (4 episodes, 1993)
Henrietta Bass ... Carol (4 episodes, 1993)
Tom Gregory ... The Fish (4 episodes, 1993)
Vicky Murdock ... Helen (4 episodes, 1993)
William Chubb ... Richard (4 episodes, 1993)
Bob Wellings ... TV Interviewer (4 episodes, 1993)

Amanda Root ... First TV Producer (4 episodes, 1993)
Philip Franks (4 episodes, 1993)
Ian Barritt ... Ian (4 episodes, 1993)

Michael Lumsden ... Derek (4 episodes, 1993)
Mark Sproston (4 episodes, 1993)

Noriko Aida ... Shinko (4 episodes, 1993)
Sarah Neville ... Marlene Pyke (4 episodes, 1993)
Daniel Flynn ... Simon (4 episodes, 1993)
Geoffrey Beevers ... Carl (4 episodes, 1993)
Helen Blatch ... Pyke's Maid (4 episodes, 1993)

David Bradley ... Helen's father / ... (4 episodes, 1993)
Abigail Canton ... Frankie (4 episodes, 1993)
Joe Duttine ... Stage Manager (4 episodes, 1993)
Susie Fairfax ... Script Editor (4 episodes, 1993)
Kim Fenton ... John (4 episodes, 1993)
Jane Galloway ... Journalist (4 episodes, 1993)
Michael Gardiner ... Sean Brisby (4 episodes, 1993)

Sally George ... Joanna (4 episodes, 1993)
Max Gold ... Frank (4 episodes, 1993)
Omar Gonga ... Baby Leila (4 episodes, 1993)
Caroline Harding ... New York Interpreter (4 episodes, 1993)
Shirley King ... Marianne (4 episodes, 1993)
Syreeta Kumar ... First Night Gril / ... (4 episodes, 1993)

Richard Leaf ... Photographer (4 episodes, 1993)
Moti Makan ... Funeral Mourner (4 episodes, 1993)
Keith Osborn ... Boyd (4 episodes, 1993)

Matt Patresi ... Journalist (4 episodes, 1993)
Dariel Pertwee ... Louise (4 episodes, 1993)

Martin Rayner ... Tony Bell (4 episodes, 1993)

Mark Strong ... Second TV Producer (4 episodes, 1993)
Julia Tarnoky ... Designer (4 episodes, 1993)
Cathy White ... Jane (4 episodes, 1993)

Series Directed by
Roger Michell (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Writing credits
Hanif Kureishi (4 episodes, 1993)

Series Produced by
Anna Kalnars .... associate producer (4 episodes, 1993)
Kevin Loader .... producer (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Original Music by
David Bowie (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Cinematography by
John McGlashan (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Film Editing by
Kate Evans (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Production Design by
Roger Cann (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Costume Design by
Alexandra Byrne (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Makeup Department
Marilyn MacDonald .... makeup designer (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Ballantyne .... first assistant director (4 episodes, 1993)
Kas Braganza .... third assistant director (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Art Department
Graham Bishop .... production buyer (4 episodes, 1993)
Catherine Davis .... set decorator: USA (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Sound Department
Michael Narduzzo .... dubbing mixer (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Stunts
Marc Cass .... stunts (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Shelley Hirst .... camera operator (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Casting Department
Barbie Wilde .... extras casting (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Location Management
Paul Brodrick .... location manager (4 episodes, 1993)
Peter Miller .... location manager (4 episodes, 1993)
Series Other crew
Diana Brookes .... script supervisor (4 episodes, 1993)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
222 min | UK:65 min (4 episodes)
Sound Mix:
UK:18 (DVD rating)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) (TV)See more »
The Buddha of SuburbiaSee more »


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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Meandering memoire of mindless muddiness, 17 January 2000
Author: Frimmin' from Norfolk, VA

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.

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