Anita and Me

2006-03-30 12:06

Meena is a 12-year-old Indian girl living in the mining village of Tollington, in the English Midlands. The year is 1972, and Meena's parents have transplanted the family to England in the hopes of a better life for their daughter.

Things are pretty swell. Meena enjoys an idyllic adolescence, surrounded by eccentric relatives and friends, even though she prefers pop music and Jackie magazine to her mother's tastes in fashion and culture.

But the grass turns a different shade of green when 14-year- old Anita Rutter and her dysfunctional family move into the neighbourhood. Blonde and outrageous, Anita has a rebellious streak that partly stems from her less than stable domestic situation.

Meena idolises the outrageous girl and wheedles her way into Anita's world, but events do not run smoothly. Meena is growing up - and that brings plenty of changes.

The arrival of a baby brother, teenage hormones, impending entrance exams for the posh grammar school and a motorcycling rebel without a future, threaten to turn her salad days sour. At least she has Anita.

What the critics are saying:

"If it never becomes more than the sum of its parts, those parts still make for a highly enjoyable experience."
- Simon Wardell, BBCi

"The marvellously eccentric Bhaji and hilarious East Is East set high benchmarks for the genre. This film struggles to measure up."
- Peter Calder, NZ Herald

"There are zany vignettes and comedy Indian relations galore, but the whole thing is very cardboard and stereotypical, and the scenes of bigotry and "Paki-bashing" are rather easily and sentimentally resolved."
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Despite sure-handed direction and solid scripting, Meera Syal's Anglo-Asian drama never quite reaches the bar set by gems like "East is East" and "Bend it Like Beckham".

kate anne shaw 2007/05/14 6:07 PM
material girls! it was a cool movie and i hope a number2 will come out!
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