Hiding

Finding Fatimah is romantic comedy about a guy who is about to turn thirty and is desperate to get married. Due to him being a Muslim and having to deal with cultural and religious pressure this puts him in a serious predicament. He goes through phases where he goes through internet dating and he is forced to do so due to enormous stigma in regards to being a divorcee in a Muslim community, he then decides not to reveal his previous marriage to his new acquaintances.

 

Danny Ashok, who plays Shahid, falls for Fatimah, played by Asmara Gabrielle. He begins to like her immediately, and vice versa. However, Shahid struggles to tell the truth as the pair become closer and closer. Little does Shahid know that Fatimah also has something to hide.

 

The director, Oz Arshad make a ridiculously low budget film and makes it look expensive with a budget of under half a million pounds. Fatima is a very intelligent and funny character, along with being a doctor. However, this is all overshadowed by the movie simply trying too hard. The movie would like the viewer to buy Shahid as a stand-up comedian – hence him competing in a local talent show called Muslims With Talent, but he is simply not funny enough. The humour of the movie often could lead to viewers complaining as they may feel the director has caricatured the characters too much to an extent it almost becomes unbearable.

 

Shahid and Fatimah are likeable enough characters and often lead the audience to feel that they wish Arshad should have trusted that they were enough on their own, and it didn’t require overly strained nonsense to make the viewer root for and believe in them.

 

The narrative is light-hearted in its tone, and whilst the characters are from a Muslim background the film shows how easy it is for individual insecurities to be shielded behind social media platforms, such as the internet which is universally applicable. Breaking stereo-types is a pattern followed through by many of the characters, including that of Shahid’s mother, who refuses to allow her widow status to define her by dating a much younger man in the form of actor Jason Kavan.

 

The Bollywood-esque cliché’s of declaring unrequited love in an unrealistic scenario, is slightly peculiar, yet almost forgivable, as the film brings much needed humour with Mandeep Dhillon and Wahab Sheikh taking on the roles as best buddies of the unlikely in love couple.

Sahil Akuji

Sahil is a wild student born in the nitty gritty area of East London. He is planning on doing a M.A in English Lit.