Everywhere And Nowhere

Everywhere And Nowhere


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

At some point or other, every young person faces difficulty finding their own way in life in the face of family and social pressures. For Asian British people this can be particularly problematic, with an extra set of imported standards to live up to - ones that don't always sit easily with modern British life. There are still relatively few films exploring this subject, so Everywhere And Nowhere is bound to be welcome. Unlike some of its predecessors, it doesn't explore in depth the concerns of a whole family, but focuses on the experience of being young and provides entertainment aimed squarely at that demographic.

James Floyd is Ash, a college dropout (though he's yet to tell his parents that) who dreams of being success as a DJ. He's got talent (and the film has a stonking soundtrack by The Angel) but he realises that's not enough on its own. Fortunately his sister is dating an established DJ who might just help him get a break. The trouble is, she can't face up to telling the family about her relationship (especially as her boyfriend is black), and Ash is going crazy dealing with all the hypocrisy he sees around him. When a gay cousin returns from India with a smiling new wife he is prompted to undertake a journey of self-discovery that could put an end to all the advantages he's enjoyed in life.

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Rounding out this story is a strong collection of supporting characters. Zaf (Adam Deacon) looks after his ailing father, his love of clubs and drinking doing nothing to reduce his familial loyalty; his poor background gives him the drive Ash sometimes lacks. Riz (Neet Mohan) is struggling with issues of social identity and frustration at his failure to impress girls leads him to flirt with extremism. Another friend finds female attention easy to get but confuses Ash with his fondness for tradition and his comfort with leading a double life. Then Ash meets a Swedish girl in the process of travelling the world, and his desire to escape intensifies.

There are no easy solutions here. This isn't a fairytale in which everybody magically comes to their senses or romance saves the day. Ash has to face ongoing problems and find ways to deal with that - which is, ultimately, a far more honest message for viewers. But if this sounds grim, don't worry; there are some great comic moments in this film and there is, throughout, a pulsing energy that drives the story forward. Excellent sound design and imaginative camerawork effectively capture the different sights and sounds of nights out, parties, mornings after. The chemistry between the young actors is great and most of the dialogue naturalistic. Mundane London settings look thrilling through their eyes.

Everywhere And Nowhere doesn't really have much to say that hasn't been said before, but that's no reason not to enjoy it. More problematic is its sometime reliance on cliché and stereotyping, especially with female characters - the dizzy blonde who tries to become Asian, the tearful goth chick who responds to family pressure with self-harm. Their scenes feel unbalanced alongside the realism of others. These are minor issues, however, in what is otherwise a very likeable and engaging film.

Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2011
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A young would-be DJ is frustrated by his family's traditional values and the hypocrisy he sees around him.
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Director: Menhaj Huda

Writer: Menhaj Huda

Starring: James Floyd, Adam Deacon, Alyy Khan, Shivani Ghai, Katia Winter, Simon Webbe

Year: 2011

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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