7.0/10
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37 user 23 critic

My Son the Fanatic (1997)

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1:04 | Trailer

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

Director:

Udayan Prasad

Writers:

Hanif Kureishi (short story), Hanif Kureishi
Reviews
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Om Puri ... Parvez
Rachel Griffiths ... Bettina / Sandra
Akbar Kurtha ... Farid
Stellan Skarsgård ... Schitz
Gopi Desai Gopi Desai ... Minoo
Harish Patel ... Fizzy
Sarah-Jane Potts ... Madeline Fingerhut (as Sarah Jane Potts)
Judi Jones Judi Jones ... Mrs. Fingerhut
Geoffrey Bateman Geoffrey Bateman ... Chief Inspector Fingerhut
Bernard Wrigley ... Drunk man
Moya Brady Moya Brady ... Druggy prostitute
Badi Uzzaman Badi Uzzaman ... Man in mosque
Andy Devine Andy Devine ... Comedian
Shiv Grewal Shiv Grewal ... Waiter
Marc Anwar Marc Anwar ... Rashid (as Omar Salimi)
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Storyline

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 (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1998 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiul meu, fanaticul See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,399, 27 June 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$408,339, 1 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Fingerhut: [putting away photo album] Madeline was a delightful girl. She still is, of course.
Parvez: And a little bit plumpish at times. As you said, twice.
Minoo: [misunderstanding] Rice is very good. For reducing diet.
Parvez: Cricket is excellent. Farid was captain. Mrs. Fingerhut - Hilda - this boy of ours, I can assure you he's all-around type, going whole hog. But not on the field. At school he carried the prizes home. Now is college he's top student of year.
Parvez: Oh, it's not difficult.
Farid: [smirks]
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Soundtracks

My Heaven
Alton Ellis and Eddie Parkins with Aubrey Adams and the Dewdroppers
(Ellis)
Happy Valley Music/Topic Music
© Heartbeat records
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User Reviews

 
My Son the Fanatic deserves applause for it's originality and honesty at portraying south asians in the west
13 February 2000 | by sholaSee all my reviews

My Son the Fanatic was a surprizing treat. I never heard of it before renting at blockbuster last night. I don't think it ever played in Toronto theatres. Never the less I must applaud at Hanif Kureshi's yet again bold and honest attempt at highlighting a recent phenomenon in the South Asian community: the son going "holier than thou" on the family. This film touched me personally because in my case the opposite happened; my father turned fanatic muslim on me. Hanif Qureshi's "My Beautiful Laundrette" is one of my favourite films of all time and after "Budha of Suburbia" I fell in love with this brilliant man and his work. "My Son" is a lot less shocking but still weaves it's way through the father and son conflict elegantly and I am shocked at how blind the Oscar nominators are when it comes to Om Puri's brilliant acting! This is the first film portraying South Asians where the wife has some personality and actually speaks out so I see her as a mother, a wife and a woman that I know because she exists in my community. She is dull and fat and stuck in her little world within the four walls of her home. I dislike her but I know her. The subtle emotions and body language of this lower middle-class family might not be fully understood by a non-south asian critic and that is why some find it moves slowly sometimes. I could not agree with Earnest Hardy more when he says this film (and others by the writer) "endorse a morality of compassion". I think that is the only moral value worth pushing!


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