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THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA

UK, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Contemporary World Cinema )

Director: Roger Michell

Originally made for the BBC as a four episode mini series, author/screen writer Hanil Kureishi brings all the wicked humour and bold strokes of My Beautiful Laundretle and Sammy & Rosie Get laid to this epic semi-autobiographical saga of a young Anglo-Indian's sexual and political initiation in 70s London. Protagonist Karim Amir's Indian father. Haroon, is the Buddha of the title, a Muslim who is able to seduce a circle of aging hippies with his pseudo-Buddhist babble Maroons banal happy talk aphorism are utilised to bilk upscale adherents while the 'guru carries on with one of his wealthy acolytes (anyone having flashbacks to the Bagwan Sri Raineesh?).

Karim dabbles in fringe Theatre stage productions and tags along when the failure ol his school chum Charlie's, glam rock band allows turn to make a second grab at the spotlight when Punk explodes. It is Kureishl's satirical digs at any and all of the youth movements he traverses and his skewering of the pretensions of music, theatre and New Age scenesters that make the Buddha Of Suburbia such a labulousty entertaining. Intelligently observed and. although the setting is decades past, a cutting contemporary production.

Kureishi. adapting his own novel, and Persuasion director Roger Michell have crafted a wry portrait of teenage joys and a sharp inquiry into the ngoraus demands of family and community. inviting laughier without mockery A wicked temix cri flippant pop attitude and dangerous dignity The Buddha of Suburbia is a four hour Joyride that is as infectious as it is provocative.

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