5 September 2010

An unusual British comedy about being Jewish...

The Infidel – Josh Appignanesi

A British comedy about a man being grown up in a Muslim family and adorned to the Muslim religion but finding out he was actually born into a Jewish family. It’s something not seen in this climate, especially about this subject matter and it’s been a very long time since we’ve seen a decent British comedy, well this year anyway, with only one exception being Cemetery Junction. Starring the funny Omid Djalili, the annoying guy from the price comparison adverts, but in real life and through his stand-up, a very funny comic; he plays Mahmud who finds out that his biological parents were Jewish and he begins to wonder about his religion and which he should follow. It’s refreshing to see a film about this subject without being overtly racist or demeaning to the audience, without holding back on what could or might happen, what the person might actually feel especially with a family of their own and having the personal situations that would take place revolving around it. It’s different and new and i like it. It’s a shame the film isn’t that great, it doesn’t have many laugh out loud moments, sure it’s good, but it’s not. Omid is funny in many of the scenes and you can see this film was a vehicle for him and not many other people could fill those shoes, it’s just a shame the script isn’t great, sometimes fumbled and that the other actors around him lack a certain spark and charisma Omid has in buckets.

Mahmud finds out he was born from Jewish parents and goes out to find out more about the religion after being brought up Muslim and hating the Jewish people because of a local neighbour who seems to terrorise him. But after meeting the neighbour and learning more about it, Mahmud travels to a bar mitzvah and get’s involved in protests against the Jewish people and with different situations finds himself both in the struggle between the two perspectives and finds it hard to decide between the two. It’s a decent plot, that does strike up some funny scenarios but as I’ve said before it lacks something, something that pushes it above the feel that it could easily be seen on Channel 4 as a film made for TV. It has that look and for that i can’t give it a great rating or give it the necessary “big up” that i make for other films on this review site.


Simon Childs

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