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Meena, a 12-year-old living in a mining village in the English Midlands in 1972, is the daughter of Indian parents who've come to England to give her a better life. This idyllic existence is upset by the arrival in the village of Anita Rutter and her dysfunctional family. Anita is 14, blonde and beautiful - exactly what Meena thinks she wants to be. She becomes part of Anita's world, but events do not run smoothly. Meena's growing up - and that brings plenty of changes. Written by
I went to see this movie because it wasn't Harry Potter or Bond, and I felt I should support the currently subdued British Film industry, but was very glad that I had. One of the best films I've seen so far this year - certainly better than most of the blockbusters so far.
I found it an excellent film with a nice blend of pathos and belly laughs, the poignant mixed with the comedic. I found Chandeep Uppal, as the lead, Meena, gave an excellent performance and deserves to go onto other things. Many stalwarts of British comedy; Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Kathy Burke, Mark Williams ... also gave solid performances. Of course, having grown up in the area it was set in I found myself identifying with the film more - wondering if the Queen Elizabeth Grammar school was the school I attended with the name changed; wondering if my family was ever part of the 70s Walsall tupperware set.
My problem came with the screening itself - seeing it on the Wednesday after the Friday release we were on one screen with 2 (evening) screenings on the smallest screen in the cinema (which was incidentally, mainly full). The previous week, I had seen Harry Potter, at about the same time, in the largest screen, and there were probably less than 30 people there, as it had been showing intensively every half an hour (and continues to). Most of the rest of the screens in the cinema were taken up with Bond. Come on British cinemas; push our own homegrown films a bit more - there's a lot of talent there but we've got to be able to see it.
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