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18
4.6 out of 5 stars
Buddha of Suburbia [DVD]
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2007
The Buddha of Suburbia, based on Hanif Kureishi's first novel brims with punk rock, bisexuality, class and race. All told with a genuine greed for life. Karim, our protagonist, is born in the suburbs of South London, itching to get into the thick of things. Being British and half-Asian gives him the permission to be different, looking at life both from the outside and from within.

The film, with stunning music by David Bowie has all the headiness and the confidence of being happily genuine. Karim tells us again and again that there is nothing worse than being ordinary, confirming to pivet-hedge dullness. Karim experiences a range of characters and crushes - upper-middle class middle-aged bored and wealthy women who see him as an exotic bit of fun to spice up their lives, racist men who are terrified of the effect Karim has on their daughters (and sons), and a range of alternative left-wing activists putting on "alternative" performances who want Karim to alter his British accent so he can convincingly play Mowgli from the Jungle Book to fulfil their fantasies.

Karim is interested in experiencing all these people and everything they have to give him, moving on to more. Although Karim suffers racism and loony politics from both the right and the left, he won't let it stop him from experiencing life. The Buddha of Suburbia shows us how exciting life can be, if only we let it in.

The DVD also captures something of the excitement, high-drama and chaos of Margaret Thatcher's 1980's when Britain undoubtedly became a more modern, decisive and dramatic nation - though some would arguably call it a harsh wake-up. And it captures brilliantly the potential for hot sexy mishap that we can all have within our crawling, safe lives.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2005
A great piece of drama which also highlights the very colourful 70's, a great time or maybe they were great because they are all those years away! Even so things seemed so different then and I believe The Buddha of Suburbia certainly captured something very real in the way of cultural awareness and with a society very much on the change! Why isn't this on DVD?
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2004
I remembered Buddha of Suburbia from when I was a teenager, watching it in my room, away from my parents. I remembered the sex and the gay storylines. What I didn't remember was this amazing protrayal of life at the end of the 70s, when hippies turned into punks, idealism into realism, and polical activism into apathy, Asian cultural issues meeting racism, cross cultural marriages etc etc. I love it!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I had been waiting for this DVD for ages, as I fondly remembered many scenes from the original TV series (1993, that was). It portrays a phase in the life of a mid-1970s teenager, half Pakistani (I think - could be half Indian) half English, in suburban London. His dad is drawn into a kind of guru-ship by wealthy suburbanites eager for the latest 'real thing' - a mysterious eastern foreigner giving them spiritual enlightenment. This real thing is pretty fake - Dad is a Muslim, and a proper Brit to boot. Karim, the teenager, is taken along for a few of the 'seances' and is drawn into all kinds of trouble - sexual, moral, spiritual and whatnot. But all he wants (apart from getting laid and listening to excellent music) is... he's not sure. Something else. Everybody is using him in one way or another, and he wants to be himself - though he's not sure what that is, either.
Good plot, lots of storylines, excellent 70s background, great music, brilliant acting. I was going to give this four stars, as I really only give five for almost perfect 'things' - but I realized this *is* almost perfect, so there you go. Great fun.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2008
I read the book last year and loved it. As usual, the film/TV adaptation of a book is never as good, however it is a great story (semi autobiographical I believe) and moves along effortlessly unfolding a multi-faceted story.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2000
This 4 part drama set in the 70's is an excellent portrail of a young man discovering his sexuallity while living in an age of drugs and music. This was such a moving drama that it has still stuck with me five years since I saw it. Worth adding to your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2010
This film does reflect the complexity and depth of the characters as they travel through the intricacies of family life, relationships, and social turmoil.
Karim is really gorgeous, which helped my students develop a sudden interest for a book they had previously dismissed as "trop difficile!" (it's on the English litterature curriculum in France this year). So it has proved very helpful.
Shame about the humour though, quite a lot of it was missing from the film, although Gin and Tonic are hysterically funny, as is the dog scene...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent journey back into a simple & somewhat naive times of a nostalgic childhood. There has never been a more creative, innovative & influential period for music since!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2010
Read the book and was delighted to see the film version. Recommend to those who loved the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2009
I have enjoyed this film yet again. It was just as good as the first time that i saw it
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