Parvez was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and as a child was asked to study the Holy scriptures through a Maulvi. When the Maulvi started his sermon, Parvez would fall asleep, this lead to the Maulvi devising a unique punishment, which ultimately compelled Parvez to stop attending. When he grew up, his marriage was arranged with Minoo and they immigrated to a small town in Britain, where Parvez started to make a living driving a taxi, and found himself free from all religious activity. 25 years later, Parvez is an alcoholic, still driving a cab, while people who had immigrated after him have their own businesses and are wealthier. Parvez now has a grown son, Farid, who is the apple of his eye, and is to be engaged to Madeleine Fingerhut, who is the daughter of the local Chief Inspector. After the two families' meet, Farid has a sudden change of heart when he notices that the Chief Inspector detests his family, and it slowly dawns on him that he and his girlfriend are quite different, and ... Written by
While this film is superficially about East Indian immigrants in Yorkshire, its themes are universal. Anyone who is or is related to an immigrant should feel at home here.
As far as religion goes, these characters could be Jewish or Christian as easily as Moslem. The mediaevalist/modernist conflict is the same. There's no reason why the audience for this film should be just a parochial one.
Om Puri gives a brilliant and nuanced performance as the central character, the resilient Punjabi cab driver. Rachel Griffiths is very fine as always as his kindred spirit, a hooker, although her character here is a little more limited in scope than those she portrayed in "Muriel's Wedding" and especially "Hilary and Jackie". Stellan Skarsgård also steps into a pair of shoes a few sizes smaller than those he has worn in the past.
Unheralded though it may have been, this is another thoughtful comedy-drama from Hanif Kureishi, author of "My Beautiful Laundrette" amongst others.
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