Co-Writer/Director: Christopher Morris
Running Time: 97 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release Date: 7th May 2010
Watched on DVD Saturday 9th April 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have wanted to see this one for some time, the DVD has been lurking in the ‘To Watch’ pile too long and it’s time has come today. I was intrigued by this one partly because I live in the north of England, not too far from where it is set and I live in a town that has quite a large Muslim population. For the record, I subscribe to no religion myself, but can I understand how many people are drawn to them. It’s a very remarkable film with an interesting mix of comedy and drama set in the Muslim community city of Sheffield. I’ll give you my thoughts after this brief summary (summary haters, and those that don’t wish to know about the plot, please move the explosives to the safe house while I write the next paragraph).
A group of radical Muslims are preparing to martyr themselves for their faith. They are; Omar, Barry, Waj and Faisal. The only problem is, they are quite stupid and don’t seem to be able to get it together. To this end, Omar and Waj go off to a training camp in Pakistan, leaving Barry and Faisal to hold the fort back home. While they are away, Barry, who is very vocal about ‘the cause’ recruits another member of the team, Hassan. On their return, Omar and Waj tell the others they have the go-ahead. They make some explosives which prove quite effective in blowing up crows, as Faisal finds out. After one of their number is killed in an accident, and much debate, they decide on a target . They now have to put their words into action, but will things go according to plan? I’ll leave my summary here, don’t want to give it all away.
Although it was made on a small budget, I thought this was a very well made film with an excellent script and some really good performances. Riz Ahmed was excellent as Omar, as was Nigel Lindsay as Barry. I also thought Kayvan Novak played the part of the naive Waj very well and Adeel Akhtar as Faisal and Arsher Ali as Hassan were also very good. Also a mention for Preeya Kalidas as Sofia, Omar’s wife.
There are many funny moments in this film and much of that is down to an excellent script by Christopher Morris, Simon Blackwell, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong and the performances from the entire cast. I also found the film very touching, there were moments of real tenderness between Omar and his wife and great friendship amongst the group. Over all, it’s a very funny film that deals with quite a tricky subject in a very interesting way. It makes the terrorists look like idiots while at the same time showing that they are only human. Would I watch it again?… Yes! Recommended.
My Score: 7.8/10