on 7 August 2014
I thought this would have been funnier with Omid Djalili in it but I suspect the writers were trying to be too politically correct with regards to Muslims and Jews. The story plot is not really plausible since a Jewish baby put up for adoption would go to a Jewish family. It would have been a funnier film had Omid's Jewish parents tracked him down, but nevertheless it's still a funny-in-places film and probably worth watching more than once - after a time gap.
on 24 November 2013
Wasn't fantastic, a great film to watch if you are bored. Not really a movie that you would watch with the family, but its funny if you enjoy its plot. Has a few funny parts, but I was expecting a hilarious comedy from Omid Djalili.
Of course it is engaging, and you wont find your self falling asleep, so for the money its a good spend and will be a nice film to watch with friends or alone, but not parents or children.
on 6 April 2016
This was one of the most hilarious movies I have ever watched! Being Asian, Muslim and also living in East London, I could relate to it all! It was just so funny I could not stop laughing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys comedy movies. I've passed this on to family and friends to enjoy watching after I've watching this 4 times! They really loved it too. Omid Djalili is also now one of my favourite comedians!
on 25 March 2014
Mahmud Nasir lives with his pretty wife and two children. His son plans to marry Uzma, the step-daughter of Egyptian-born Arshad Al-Masri, a so-called 'Hate Cleric'.
Mahmud, is not exactly a devout Muslim, he drinks alcohol, and does not pray five times, but does agree that he will appease Arshad, without whose approval the marriage cannot take place.
Shortly thereafter Mahmud, while going over his recently deceased mother's documents, will find out that he was adopted, his birth parents were Jewish, and his name is actually Solly Shimshillewitz.
He conceals this information from his family, and with the help of his neighbour, tries to understand the Jews, their religion and even locates his birth-father, who is on his death-bed in a nursing home.
Mahmud does not know that Arshad has been checking into his background, has videotaped him setting fire to a Jewish cap during a protest, and has already approved of him, despite of his letter to the media about 'moderate Muslims'.
But on the day of the meeting with Arshad and Uzma - Mahmud will find his life drastically changed...
Back in the nineties, Baddiel was a comedy genius, giving us some of the freshest material against a lot of British has beens ho were constantly going on about the government. Fast forward almost twenty years, and Baddiel is turning into one of those comedians, with this lukewarm affair.
The film just gets tangles up in it's own smugness, it tries to be too clever, the premise is simple, but gets bogged down by the silly script and the unclear narrative.
The cast are good, and for a stand up comedian, Djalli is great in the lead role.
But the film appears to be too careful as to who it will offend, where it should have done the opposite, making it a little controversial.
There are interesting aspects though, the sub-plot involving the disgraced eighties singer is a good inclusion, but the rest of it is sadly wasted, despite the good cast and the good intentions.
on 19 December 2010
The Infidel stars Iranian comedian Omid Djalili as a Pakistani Muslim who suffers an identity crisis after finding out that he was in fact adopted and his real parents are Jewish.
Written by David Baddiel, The Infidel is a multi-faith comedy and on first thoughts we would expect a physical slap stick affair, especially with Djalili as the main lead. Even though the premise is potentially hilarious; this is in fact a down to earth and gritty film with serious undertones. Don't get me wrong - it is still a kosher comedy, with a professional comedian as its main protagonist, well paced and with its fair share of highlights. It is also a physically detailed film, which is admirable and there are also some good cameos. Surprisingly however it is not a laugh out loud film and most of the jokes are dry and witty. Also surprising is that there are plenty of emotionally charged scenes, which ultimately test the acting skills of the lead cast.
The Infidel has its heart in the right place and is far more tactful than previous films like East is East and Bhaji on the Beach. It strikes a balance between all subject matters and celebrates our similarities rather than our differences. The director ensures that the film remains inventive throughout, and even though the ending isn't altogether clever and the script is weak in places; we will be quick to forgive the film for any shortcomings.
It is worth watching, even though it is not a major breakthrough in Anglo-South Asian film-making or even in the comedy genre as a whole. Perhaps its major achievement is that it touches on sensitive issues without offending anyone and also proves that Omid Djalili can successfully participate in character driven drama as well as comedy.
on 7 January 2012
On paper this should have been funny. Omid in the lead role, and Baddiel as scriptwriter. Well, it should have stayed on paper, and not made the transition to celluloid.On occasion I tittered briefly but that was about it. I think that what makes this film so bad is that the main two characters are so unlikeable, that you really don't care what happens to either of them. The Jewish taxi driver is a particularly awful actor and is unlike any Jew I have ever met (I am Jewish myself so I have met quite a lot). Whoever casted him in the role has obviously never met a Jew. I used to really admire Baddiel's humour (especially with Rob Newman back in the 90s) but clearly his best days are behind him. At one point he has the Jewish taxi driver tell a joke that Baddiel was peddling in his solo tours well over 10 years ago (the definition of a Jewish Buddhist line), and as for the ending it is so corny and trite it defies belief. Two stars is generous.
The Infidel is directed by Josh Appignanesi and written by David Baddiel. It stars Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Yigal Naor and Matt Lucas. Music is by Erran Baron Cohen and cinematography by Natasha Braier. Mahmud Nasir, a British Muslim, goes through an identity crisis when he discovers he was adopted as a child and born to a Jewish family.
It's a tricky subject to make a comedy out of, but by and large the makers have produced an enjoyable and observational pleasure. Led by the ebullient Omid Djalili as the conflicted protagonist, film unfolds in a series of sections involving Israel, Palestine, Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Along the way there are some great gags, both visual and vocal, but then it culminates in the inevitable message and relies heavily on a weak reveal. The motives and means are genuine, this is not an offensive movie, it has a point and for those who want to delve deeper there is much to kick off discussion. But ultimately it's a good comedy with strong themes of identity and family ties binding the racial hot points at the core. 6/10