A romantic comedy set amongst the young British Muslim community in Manchester sounds like a highly important and creative film on paper. However, whilst lighthearted and amusing, the script and humour lacks that all important punch and the movie is not as digestible as one might hope. Despite this, the engaging characters carry the story through and provide some element of entertainment.
Finding Fatimah delves into the life of 30-year-old Shahid (Danny Ashok) who is struggling to find love in the British Asian community due to the stigma of his divorce. Although the feature presents many witty scenes, there are very few laugh-out-loud moments; there are many components of the film – such as Shahid’s participation as a stand-up comic in the Muslim has Talent competition – which could have led to punchier comedy but instead just raise the odd smile.
That being said, the performances from lead actors Ashok and Asmara Gabrielle are charming and uplifting. The stellar and witty supporting talent from Mandeep Dhillon, Wahab Sheikh and Ambreen Razia strengthen the humorous moments Finding Fatimah has to offer. Had the script been a little bolder, these performances would have had audiences roaring with laughter, rather than sporadic chuckles.
Although perhaps a little disappointing on the comedy side, the premise and messages Finding Fatimah communicates are well thought out and relevant. It is becoming more essential to educate viewers of all ages about life as a young Muslim in the UK and this film certainly achieves that.
Finding Fatimah is released nationwide on 21st April 2017.
Watch the trailer for Finding Fatimah here: