Eye For Film >> Movies >> All In Good Time (2012) Film Review
All In Good Time
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
A romcom that takes place after the wedding; a sex comedy without any sex; and an affectionate tale of family life and intergenerational strife, All In Good Time is an odd little film but a natural crowd-pleaser. It follows the fortunes of Atul (Reece Ritchie) and Vina (Amara Karan), recently married but so beset by day to day disasters and difficult relatives that they simply cannot find the opportunity to consummate their union.
Adapted from his own play by Ayub Khan-Din, the man behind East Is East, All In Good Time could easily have seemed too stagey on this big screen but actually benefits from a sense of claustrophobia that's greater because we see flashes of the wider world around its characters.
Life for the newlyweds is concentrated in a small room in a terraced house in Bolton, the house surrounded by a network of alleyways. It's Atul's father's pride and joy, the crowning achievement of his life of hard work, but to Atul it's a prison. Familiar tensions simmer between a young man trying to find his own voice and an older man who doesn't understand how all his devotion has produced somebody as unfathomable as a stranger.
It's these far-reaching, sometimes tragic themes that give the film depth, but they're wrapped in comedy, sometimes subtle, sometimes broad. As Atul's father, Harish Patel delivers an unforgettable performance that combines blundering insensitivity with heartbreaking vulnerability and will still have you laughing out loud. As he struggles to communicate with his son, so Atul and Vina find their own communication gradually breaking down. Neighbourhood gossip - aided by an omnipresent trio of middle aged women who function like a Greek chorus - doesn't help. Can the young lovers get it together and remember why their love matters before it's too late?
All In Good Time will be particularly resonant for people from British Asian and northern working class communities. There's an observational wit and attention to detail here that makes the film delightful to watch. Although it misfires in places and is never quite as convincing as Khan-Din's previous work, with some sequences feeling contrived, it's nevertheless an inventive piece of cross-genre work that makes for a great evening's entertainment.Reviewed on: 21 Feb 2012
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