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The Infidel (2010)

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An identity crisis comedy centred on Mahmud Nasir, successful business owner, and salt of the earth East End Muslim who discovers that he's adopted - and Jewish.

Director:

Josh Appignanesi

Writer:

David Baddiel
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Igal Naor ... Arshad El-Masri
Stewart Scudamore ... Tariq
Omid Djalili ... Mahmud Nasir
James Floyd ... Gary Page
Archie Panjabi ... Saamiya Nasir
Leah Fatania Leah Fatania ... Nabi Nasir
Stuart Antony Stuart Antony ... Drummer
Scott Walters Scott Walters ... Delivery Guy
Mina Anwar ... Muna
Amit Shah ... Rashid Nasir
Soraya Radford Soraya Radford ... Uzma
Ravin J. Ganatra Ravin J. Ganatra ... Fahad (as Ravin Ganatra)
Christian Lees ... Bar Mitzvah Twin Louis
Jonah Lees ... Bar Mitzah Twin Sammi
Richard Schiff ... Lenny Goldberg
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Storyline

Based in a London suburb Mahmud Nasir lives with his pretty wife, Saamiya, and two children, Rashid and Nabi. His son plans to marry Uzma, the step-daughter of Egyptian-born Arshad Al-Masri, a so-called 'Hate Cleric' from Waziristan, Pakistan. Mahmud, who is not exactly a devout Muslim, he drinks alcohol, and does not pray five times, but does agree that he will appease Arshad, without whose approval the marriage cannot take place. Shortly thereafter Mahmud, while going over his recently deceased mother's documents, will find out that he was adopted, his birth parents were Jewish, and his name is actually Solly Shimshillewitz. He conceals this information from his family, and with the help of his neighbor, Leonard Goldberg, tries to understand the Jews, their religion and even locates his birth-father, who is on his death-bed in a nursing home. Mahmud does not know that Arshad has been checking into his background, has videotaped him setting fire to a Jewish cap during a protest, and ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is It a Muslim? Is It a Jew? No! It's...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 2010 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Alles koscher! See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£135,448 (United Kingdom), 11 April 2010, Limited Release

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,500,000, 7 February 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

David Baddiel: The movie's writer can be seen on the TV show The Wright Stuff (2000), which Mahmud watches. See more »

Goofs

After Mahmud sees that Lenny has parked his taxi cab on his parking cones, he begins to walk over to Lenny's house to confront him about it. On the way, he walks past a car and the camera crew is reflected in its side. See more »

Quotes

Mahmud Nasir: Anti-Semite!
Lenny Goldberg: Islamophobe!
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Connections

Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #13.1 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Aaja Ve Mahiya
Performed by Imran Nasser Khan
Written by Imran Nasser Khan
Published by Prestige Music
Master recording courtesy of Prestige Records
Executive Producer Shahid Mazhar
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User Reviews

 
Omid Djalili gives a terrific comic performance here but is hampered by a script that fails to take any risks
16 September 2010 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

There's no denying that "The Infidel" treads tough ground, one that doesn't need much reminding in this day and age. And to be fair, "The Infidel" is one of the more amusing films centred around Muslim/Jewish hostilities in years. Anchored by a hearty performance by stand-up Omid Djalili, who's made funny, incisive observations in his act about his culture and background in relation to English society and also, about the way they talk and behave and what tends to go unsaid in his presence. He has a fun time filling in the nuances of his role here with this keen understanding and terrific comic timing.

Djalili plays Mahmud Nasir, a moderate Muslim father and business-owner in England who finds out that he was born Solomon (Solly) Shimshillewitz and was adopted by Muslim parents. Understandably upset by the threat this weight of truth might bring to his normalcy, Mahmud hides the truth from his impossibly attractive wife (Archie Punjabi), a young daughter who spouts insanely ridiculous stereotypes and from a son who's about to marry the step-daughter of a radical Pakistani cleric. Rocked with an identity crisis, Mahmud enlists the help of a grumpy native New York Jew, Lenny Goldberg played with quick-fire efficiency by Emmy-winner Richard Schiff.

Djalili and Schiff pair well together. Frequently, the best scenes in the film coalesce around them as they traverse new ground – as Mahmud discovers a heritage he never knew and Lenny finds respect for a culture he's spent valuable time opposing. The moral of the story is clear: We're all the same. It's a trite notion but delivered with enough heart and equal opportunity offending on both sides.

This is a high-concept comedy with middle-brow ambitions, setting up substantial questions on ethnicity and religion but leave them hanging. It wants to co-opt the serious issues at play but not address them. At first glance, it's got a premise that brings humour right to the table but even with the best Djalili's got to give, the film lumbers along until a final third that just breaks down in hysterics and plain narrative tedium.

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