Up 9,372 this week

My Son the Fanatic (1997)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  7 January 1998 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,433 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 22 critic

Pakistani taxi-driver Parvez and prostitute Bettina find themselves trapped in the middle when Islamic fundamentalists decide to clean up their local town.



(short story),
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 5108 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
a list of 32 titles
created 10 Jun 2014
a list of 62 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 35 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 29 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: My Son the Fanatic (1997)

My Son the Fanatic (1997) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of My Son the Fanatic.
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

East Is East (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In early 1970s England, a Pakistani father finds the authority he has previously maintained challenged by his increasingly Anglicized children.

Director: Damien O'Donnell
Stars: Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Jordan Routledge
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A group of women of Indian descent take a trip together from their home in Birmingham, England to the beach resort of Blackpool. The women vary in ages from mid-teens to old, and initially ... See full summary »

Director: Gurinder Chadha
Stars: Kim Vithana, Jimmi Harkishin, Sarita Khajuria
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Amir is an illegal Pakistani immigrant smuggled into England in the 1960's to work, to send money to his family and perhaps even bring them over with him. A skilled laborer, he is forced to... See full summary »

Director: Udayan Prasad
Stars: Om Puri, Pavan Malhotra, Angeline Ball
The Buddha of Suburbia (TV Mini-Series 1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Naveen Andrews, David Bamber, Brenda Blethyn
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

For want of a nail a shoe was lost, for want of a shoe... a young man's life is almost lost, which is exactly what this film is all about: a man barely twenty who wants desperately to pull ... See full summary »

Director: Hanif Kureishi
Stars: Justin Chadwick, Steven Mackintosh, Fiona Shaw
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Claire Bloom, Frances Barber
Among Giants (1998)
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A manager hires Ray, off the books, to paint all the power towers in a 15-mile stretch of high-tension wires outside Sheffield. Ray's crew of men are friends, especially Ray with Steve, a ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Miller
Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Rachel Griffiths, James Thornton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a millionaire practical joker dies, he divides his fortune among four heirs who must carry out his zany instructions to cash in.

Director: Mario Zampi
Stars: Alastair Sim, Fay Compton, Guy Middleton
Amy II (1997)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Amy is a story of a young girl who witnesses her dad's death on stage at a rock concert. She becomes mentally mute/deaf after this, and 4 years later discovers she can communicate only by ... See full summary »

Director: Nadia Tass
Stars: Alana De Roma, Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn
Scandal (1989)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An English bon-vivant osteopath is enchanted with a young exotic dancer and invites her to live with him. He serves as friend and mentor, and through his contacts and parties she and her ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda
Gabriel & Me (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A young boy believes he can save his dying father if he can become an angel.

Director: Udayan Prasad
Stars: Iain Glen, David Bradley, Sean Landless


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bettina / Sandra
Gopi Desai ...
Harish Patel ...
Madeline Fingerhut (as Sarah Jane Potts)
Judi Jones ...
Mrs. Fingerhut
Geoffrey Bateman ...
Chief Inspector Fingerhut
Drunk man
Moya Brady ...
Druggy prostitute
Badi Uzzaman ...
Man in mosque
Andy Devine ...
Shiv Grewal ...
Marc Anwar ...
Rashid (as Omar Salimi)


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 rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 January 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Gyilkosságra nevelve  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$38,399 (USA) (25 June 1999)


$408,339 (USA) (30 July 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 3 July 1999 (1999) See more »


A Rockin' Good Way
Brook Benton & Dinah Washington
(Otis, Benton, & Dejesus)
Alley Music Corp/Trio Music Inc/Iza Music Group
admin by Carlin Music Corp/Leosong
© The Verve Group
(Polygram Records)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A kind immigrant taxi driver who is platonic friends with a prostitute and whose son becomes a religious fundamentalist - ingredients combined with Om Puri's acting to make a worthwhile film
4 January 2002 | by (Durham, NC (USA)) – See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised when I just saw "My Son the Fanatic" (I write this as the video rewinds!). I'm quite averse to watching gratuitous violence and listening to obscenities, and I looked askance at the cover jacket of this video at my public library, thinking it may be akin to films like "East is East", "Sammy and Rosie", and "My Beautiful Laundrette". Like those films, this one explores English lower middle class South Asian immigrants, but I found "My Son the Fanatic" to be much more palatable - and in fact endearing and more interesting - than the others.

The story is of Parvez (played by Om Puri), a Pakistani who has immigrated to England 25 or 30 years ago. He is a taxi driver and is very proud of his son, Farid (Akbar Kurtha), who appears to be in his mid-20s. The film opens with Parvez, his wife Minoo (Gopi Desai), and Farid all meeting the family of Madelaine (Sarah-Jane Potts), Farid's girlfriend. Madelaine's father is chief of police, and Parvez is enthusiastic for the marriage presumably because the young couple love each other, but also, it seems, because of the status of the chief inspector.

Parvez is a hard-working, kind, and friendly man. Some of his customers are prostitutes, and he honorably befriends one, Bettina (Rachel Griffiths), maintaining a respectful and supportive platonic relationship.

Life is turned upside down when Farid abandons his engagement and school when religious fundamentalism beckons him. This forms the framework for the climax and resolution of the film.

Om Puri, consistent with his reputation, puts in an excellent and believable performance of a parent trying to provide a good life for his family and looking to harness qualities from both his traditional and adopted cultures. Though she seems to be stuck at home, Minoo is more dimensional than other S.Asian mothers are often portrayed to be. I think more could have been done to have developed the son's character, and Bettina had a radiance, charm, and optimism that made it hard to believe her to be a prostitute.

"My Son the Fanatic" is a film that I enjoyed seeing. It's neither uplifting nor depressing, but the story is interesting and believable, and Om Puri's credible acting is a delight to see.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Falsely titled!! Bobby009
Om Puri ryy
Discuss My Son the Fanatic (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: