Amar, Akbar and Tony: Review
Amar Akbar and Tony is a coming of age romantic comedy drama. Set in Hounslow, Southall and around West London.
It follows the lives and loves of three childhood friends a Sikh, a Muslim and an Irish Catholic. The film, spanning a decade, sees them stumble their way from teenage angst through to adults in the present day where we pick up the main thrust of the film. Amar (Rez Kempton), an aspiring lawyer whose promising career is unexpectedly derailed, Akbar (Sam Vincenti), the charming wide boy estate agent and Tony (Martin Delaney) who fell for the wrong woman resulting in some serious consequences. An incident in a nightclub threatened to test their childhood bond but ultimately it’s strengthened and the course of their lives is never the same again.
Much of the area where it is filmed is where my family and I lived, so I really appreciated the closeness in communities and the illustration of a truly multicultural London.
Although this is a comedy, it is balanced with some very touching turning points. The film earns it ‘feel good’ factor. That is also testament to the honest writing and direction of first time feature film director Atul Malhotra. The film was a labour of love for him and that love is palpable as the film has a HUGE heart.
As an Independant Film with a limited budget, there are a couple of minor moments where this is evident. But with innovative direction, it’s cleverly and imaginatively shot and edited. It just goes to show what can be achieved with the right leadership, script, actors and team…. a film that says so much. The film went a long way to de-bunking a lot of myths with regards to British Asian culture. Through the types of characters and the twists and turns in the plot, that are not often connected to the Asian community. You get an accurate yet fun portrayal of an aspect of modern culture that I grew up around. I was so incredibly chuffed to see it come to life on screen in this light hearted, feel good comedy drama. The film doesn’t pretend to be a gritty commentary of urban living, but a celebration of diverse London life. The film is funny, cheeky, sexy and heartfelt.
The entire cast is superb without exception. From Rez Kempton’s performance as Amar beautifully providing the gravitas and complexity the film requires, the charismatic charmer Akbar, fantastically judged by Sam Vincenti, through to the ‘no luck with women’ Tony played by Martin Delaney who is riotous. His bold comedic choices really pay off. We have three main characters you fall in love with despite their foibles; characters you want to see ‘live happily ever after’….
The supporting characters are equally rich, colourful, well rounded and most importantly really likable. Be it the flambouyant gay uncle Jay (Tanveer Ghani), his ‘not quite as she seems’ wife Meera, (Karen David), the wannabe actress Laura Aikman to Goldy Notay’s feisty Sonya. All give fine performances. There are also brilliant cameos from Meera Syal, Nina Wadia and Ace Bhatti, who are all hilarious.
As described by the director Atul, music is another character in the film. The original soundtrack and score is composed perfectly by music producer Rishi Rich. It certainly had me tapping my toes!
Take a look at the official trailer
It is about friendship, family and finding love in multicultural London. It is what it is and it does what it does extremely well. It entertains. I had a great time and went away feeling good! Writing this review, I have a smile on my face!!
Catch it now on DVD
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