The setting is Glasgow, and racial and cultural tensions are visible right from the start asTahara, daughter of Pakistani immigrants, pulls no punches about her experiences with racismpost 9-11 in a speech at school. Some of her schoolmates do not take kindly to her, aconfrontation ensues, and a chase takes place through the school. Tahara’s brother, Casim, a DJ,intervenes, and in the process meets Tahara’s music teacher, Roisin, an Irish Catholic. Sparks fly,and the stage …s set for a romance that will not sit well with the circle of either partner.
If you liked Bend It Like Beckham for the culture clash story, and don’t need thesports angle, this should be a real pleasure. The characters are well-drawn and the wit is genuine,though this is a story grounded in very painful realities. That said, this is still a Ken Loach film,so don’t expect a conventional romance or tidily wrapped up narrative. These people feel real,and reality is messy.
The sound is in 2.0, and isn’t a huge step above mono. There is some surround presence, butvery little, whether we’re talking about sound effects or music. The sound quality is clearenough, and there is no distortion on the dialogue, though the accents might well have NorthAmerican audiences reaching for the subtitles (the disc under review turned them onautomatically).
The naturalistic colours lend considerable help to the realist setting of the film. They are verysolid, as are the flesh tones, and there is no visible grain or edge enhancement. Sharpness ispretty good, too. The widescreen aspect ratio is preserved.
The only extras are some trailers: Stage Beauty, Dude, Where’s the Party?,The Final Cut and High Tension. The menu’s main screen is scored, and thescene selection screen is animated.
A no-frills disc, but a good presentation of a very smart romance.
Special Features List