My Son the Fanatic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Son the Fanatic Reviews

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½ February 18, 2014
Deals with lots of issues in a minority cultured environment in the north of England, but does it in a mildly humerous way, which although is probably better for entertainment purposes also serves to cloud the issues.
November 5, 2013
Somewhat of a lesser effort by Hanif Kureishi who loses track halfway the story and deviates from the main conflict between son and father and concentrates instead on the father's own confusions. The Skarsgard character is rather poorly written and it really is unclear what exactly the role of Griffiths is. Nonetheless, there are some very interesting elements here, especially since it was made well before the radicalisation of English born muslim youths resulted in lethal incidents in the early '00's. Funny by the way how this movie is now a largely forgotten relic I picked up in a $2 bargain bin in a suburban mall.
½ July 1, 2012
well-acted snapshot of immigrant integration against a backdrop of revived cultural pride to the point of fanaticism in the subsequent generation. it raises many questions about society, identity and ultimately compassion. griffiths & puri turn in convincing performances, as did a non-so-familiar younger skarsgard.
July 1, 2012
there is much bound in the gridlock of duty and desires... and this is a tale of listening to your heart and making hard decisions.
½ April 19, 2011
I remember seeing this film, but couldn't remember Rachel Griffiths being in it. Om Puri is such an incredibly talented actor.
March 4, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011

(1997) My Son The Fanatic

Already East Indian descent of more than 25 years while driving a cab builds a rapport with prostitute( Rachael Griffith) and his rebellious son slowly becoming a fanatic!
Does a good job on how East Indians are sometimes treated when residing in another country! Showed some interesting things about what is happening in England such as how the cabbies make a little extra money while coinciding with an English brothel! At times the film dawdles too long on certain scenes!

2.5 out of 4

October 24, 2010
A multilayered view on immigration, religion and morality. The Pakistani father wants to move on with his life in the English society but the son seeks connection to his own culture and religion in a fanatical fashion. Really refreshing to see the situation this way for a change. Also some great pieces of dialogue.
April 17, 2010
It makes some effective points about tolerance and bigotry and the clash between cultures and generations. One the best acting by Om Puri, one of the reasons for making this as my favorite movies.
½ February 27, 2010
A secular-minded immigrant (played by Om Puri) to England from Pakistan watches in utter disbelief as his son cancels his wedding with the daughter of the city's top cop and turns to political Islam. Om Puri's performance is stellar as usual. Though not a classic, this film is worth a watch.
January 26, 2010
accidentally watched it a second time. Complex characters. The cultural and generational clashes still interesting and funny. Prescient for 1999 and relevant today.
½ January 5, 2010
Un film che ha precorso i tempi mostrando già allora la spaccatura tra le culture degli occidentali e degli immigrati e il conseguente avvicinarsi al fanatismo religioso di quest'ultimi come reazione. All'interno una bella storia di amicizia e amore tra due, in un certo senso, emarginati dalle proprie comunità. Almeno penso sia così perché avendolo visto in lingua originale e senza sottotitoli potrebbe parlare anche di tutt'altra cosa :-D
½ November 21, 2009
A gem of a movie, although a dramatic one. Friendship CAN be found in the most unusual of places, as this movie shows.
June 24, 2009
Islamic fundamentalism and western hedonism collide in the small English town of Bradford. A daring premise has been done justice to with a wise, analytical execution. The film was a huge hit in the 1997 Cannes film festival which is no wonder considering how it's intriquing way of combining comedy and drama both charms and challenges.

"My Son the Fanatic" gives us a peak into the life of Parvez, an Indian-Brittish taxi-driver, who doesn't care much about his roots, but is very fond of the western way of life. He befriends with the lower class of his town, eventually falling in love with a prostitute.

His son, Farid, represents a very different kind of thinking. He opposes the western way of living recklessly and seeks order. This leads to him leaving his English fianc?© and joining a group of islamic fundamentalists.

A story that begins as a light comedy turns into serious drama as Parvez and Farid collide in their different ways of viewing life. Parvez's worry about his son and his long-dead marriage to his traditionalist Indian wife offer us meaningfull moments wich carry the deep characters through innovative situations.

The film speaks for open-mindedness, stating that a prostitute can be a good person and that a religious fanatic is always someone's child. It offers much to think about while questioning common prejudiousness. And nothng in it is easy, sappy or contrived, but instead firmly grounded in the realistic. The acting performances and Udayan Prasad's talented directing support Hanif Kureishi's insightfull script, wich -perhaps intentionally- is left just a tiny a bit superficial considering the grave themes.

"My Son the Fanatic" reminds us that cultures can indeed intermix successfully, and I recommend it strongly, especially at these times. To quote Parvez: "Farid tells me cultures can't be combined. Jesus! You can't keep them apart!"
½ May 2, 2009
The fanatical son is the least interesting part of this interesting character study. Parvez (Om Puri) is a Pakistani taxi driver in London who clearly wants to be seen as more important than his station in life would suggest. He drives a local prostitute Bettina (Rachel Griffiths) to work and tries to set up dates for her with important businessmen. He is thrilled when his son plans to marry the constable's daughter even though the constable clearly holds Parvez and his family in contempt. His son dumps his girlfriend and becomes involved in a fundmentalist Muslim group. One of the interesting things about the movie is the tension Parvez finds himself between, working for a German businessman who orders up host of prostitute who he clearly views as mechanisms to keep his party guests happy. Parvez's son, on the other hand, treats women in contempt in following the more radical fringes of Islamic law. Nice acting, particularly from Griffiths and Puri.
September 7, 2008
Netflix described this as a comedy. Nothing could be further from the truth. There were some amusing lines, but mostly it was a sad story of a Pakistani immigrant whose son takes up fundamental religion, while his father gets more and more attracted to a prostitute. The second theme was so unlikely as to make the film unbelievable. Forget it.
May 2, 2008
Splendid! One of the most sensible movies ever made.
½ April 8, 2008
Ever found yourself identifying with all the characters, though they're all on different paths?
½ March 14, 2008
Postcolonial cinema at its best; showing us all the complexity of racism, fundamentalism and morality. OK, so Om Puri love scenes are LIKE OMG MY EYES but the romance is still also heartachingly beautiful. Sigh!
February 27, 2008
Great film, ahead of its time in terms of recognising the rise of extremism within the newer anglo-asian community in Britain.
February 22, 2008
It was a decent movie. It was hard to understand the main guy most of the time, but it was easy to sympathize with his struggle. Losing his son to radical Islam and having a "dull" wife is hard on a man.
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