Kalil states in one of the first lines of this film that image and perception is everything. Taking a lead from this I will put my cards on the table about what I think of this creation of Guruji Films.
Frankly, I loved this little movie. Originally Written as " Felling the Cedar Mountain" by Nirjay Mahindru - The director Ganatra has done a prodigious job of extracting the essence of that 80 min stage play into 15 short minutes for screen
We are presented with several examples of the importance of perception from Kalil’s imitation Gucci aftershave to his Kenyan colonial passport, all of which according to Kalil turns to ‘Shit’.
We have the endearing image of a gentle old Asian man riding a dignified line between religious observance and smart respectful suit and tie British conformity. The perfect example of Kenneth Baker’s assimilation policy of the 1980’s. But will this turn to ‘donkey crap’ like the much maligned Old spice ? Especially that his ‘fitting in’ was to avoid a ‘kicking in’ in the streets of Upton park.
We are presented with a lovely insight into Kalil’s naivety where he trys to dismiss the malefic threats of mid 70s Powellism by laughing at his name. He then defends his people against Enoch’s Birmingham speech by taking his ‘rivers of blood’ reference literally. ‘We did not put it in there’.
The presentation of the story by director Ravin Ganatra was beguilingly charming . He holds ones interest, without once taking one’s attention from the narrative. He juxtaposes the modern life of a lonely man next to a heart rendering Hindi songs from that era.
Taking through to the fruits of this dark lesson , Ganatra highlights key moments of the story and gently leading one to the frightening and surprising dark adventure that Kalil's loneliness , sense of rejection and dark lessons from his youth seem to inevitably lead him.
In essence, this was a well-constructed story, well told by a thoroughly believable voice. We are lead to empathize with this likeable character. We are both surprised and shocked as we review the clear sign posts to a tragic ending.
East meets West Ham