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In Glasgow, Scotland, the Pakistani parents of Casim Khan have decided that he is going to marry his cousin Jasmine. Unfortunately, Casim has just fallen in love with his younger sister's music teacher Roisin. Not only is she 'goree', a white woman, she is also Irish and catholic, things that may not go down well with Casim's parents. They start a relationship but Casim is torn between following his heart and being a good son. Written by
My wife and I rented this movie because we are so fascinated by films that explore the various issues involved in inter-racial relationships. I am Chinese, and my wife Indian, and it was quite a tumultuous journey from the day we met to the day that we exchanged our wedding vows. Seeing movies like this always brings us a strong feeling of nostalgia.
A Fond Kiss is the love story between Casim, a young Pakistani man, and Roisin, a young Catholic woman, with the backdrop being modern day Scotland. Much of the plot revolve around the Casim's family dynamics, which is a rather modern Muslim household. We are not given much about Roisin's family, but the director gives us a rather bitter depiction of fundamental Catholic dogma. Despite the predictable problems that arise, the story is accompanied by a strong performance from the entire cast, and the use of common Hollywood love-story gimmicks are refreshingly absent from the plot.
I must note that the performance by Casim's father was especially moving for me; you want to judge him quickly for his hypocrisy and bigotry, but soon feel for his predicament. The antagonism he has for "love" marriages arise from his responsibility to love and protect his family, and his tribulations in the past have made him weary of foreigners. I am reminded of the problems I have had with my father-in-law; for the longest time I hated him so much, but only now I see that he's one of the most caring and loving individuals I have ever known, and any problems he gave me was simply his way of testing my devotion to what matters most to him, his daughter and family.
The ending scenes were also beautifully woven together. There are no ridiculous chase scenes or over-exaggerated dialogues. The people who ultimately decide their fates are themselves. It is Casim and Roisin who must determine what their destinies are, and this non-fatalistic scenario is often the case in real life. I know, from my culture as well as my wife's, that in many cases, marriages are arranged, and sometimes forced. Though I try not to make any judgements, I am glad that I live in a society where I still get to choose my partner in life.
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