Anita & Me (2002) Movie Review

Director: Metin Huseyin

Writer: Meera Syal (Screenplay) Meera Syal (Novel)

Starring: Chandeep Uppal, Anna Brewster, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ayesha Dharker

Plot: Meena, a 12-year-old living in a mining village in the English Midlands in 1972, is the daughter of Indian parents who’ve come to England to give her a better life. This idyllic existence is upset by the arrival in the village of Anita Rutter and her dysfunctional family. Anita is 14, blonde and beautiful – exactly what Meena thinks she wants to be. She becomes part of Anita’s world, but events do not run smoothly. Meena’s growing up – and that brings plenty of changes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sweet Coming of Age Tale

Story: Anita & Me starts as we meet Meena Kumar (Uppal) who lives in a small Midlands town, the daily routine is starting to drive Meena crazy with her parents Papa (Bhaskar) and Daljeet (Dharker) trying to make the life for the future.

Meena’s life takes a change when a new girl Anita (Brewster) arrives in town, which sees her coming out of her shell more, but getting caught in the middle of following her family’s traditions or becoming her own woman.

Thoughts on Anita & Me

Characters – Meena is a young Indian girl living in the Midlands, getting close to reach teenager years, with her always feeling out of place until she meets a new girl in town, one that treats her like one of the friends, while her parents are still trying to keep her driven into the traditions, she is left feeling more out of place than ever as she is torn between the two worlds. Anita is the girl that moves to town, she becomes best friends with Meena, showing her a more English approach of different things in life, teach Meena habits her parents would never have approved off, all while having her own secret. Papa and Daljeet are the parents of Meena that are trying to push her into following the family traditions, not liking her being friends with anyone outside of the family circle.

PerformancesChandeep Uppal in the leading role is great, showing how difficult growing up was for somebody different in a town and never understanding. In the supporting cast we have Anna Brewster being the friend works very well, with the bigger known actors in the family roles showing the strength needing in the key scenes.

StoryThe story here follows a 12-year-old Indian girl living in the Midlands during the 1970s, as she becomes friends with a new girl in town, she is torn between following family traditions and wanting to be a growing teenager. This story does follow the traditions of a coming of age tale, we focus on an untapped market though, showing us how difficult being a young Indian girl, dealing with being different to the rest of the girls in the town, having to follow different traditions and dealing with racism without understanding just how series it is. We do only see the world through the eyes of Meera, who shows how an innocent point of view can see the more series issues in life, with everything coming together in a sweet style.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from seeing how Meera witnesses the world, we will laugh at certain things, while understand the pain bought on by others.

SettingsThe film is set in one small Midlands town that sees how one young soon to be teenager is trying to adapt to growing up.

Scene of the Movie – Meera’s letter reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Never getting to the true suffering in Anita’s life.

Final Thoughts This is a beautiful coming of age tale that shows us just how the British world changed with different cultures coming together in life, to give us a new look on life.

Overall: Coming Of Age with a Change.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Submarine (2010)

Director: Richard Ayoade

Writer: Richard Ayoade (Screenplay) Joe Dunthorne (Novel)

Starring: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige, Darren Evans


Plot: 15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.

Tagline – A comedy that doesn’t let principles stand in the way of progress.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Overly Styled


Story: Submarine starts with school boy Oliver Tate (Roberts) telling his life story, well how he sees life, he lives a normal life, mostly an outsider, but not bullied anymore, his parents Lloyd (Taylor) and Jill (Hawkins) are in a loveless marriage, while he is trying to win the heart of Jordana (Paige).

Oliver’s life becomes more complicated when he starts to believe his mother is having an affair with her ex-lover Graham (Considine) and he sets put to stop this happening.


Thoughts on Submarine


Characters – Oliver Tate is the school kid who is an outsider narrating this story explaining how he sees and copes with life, he starts seeing Jordana who helps change him to become more open, while he tries to stop his mother having an affair with a former lover. Jill is Oliver’s mother that has become distant from her husband and starts hanging around her former lover, Lloyd is the father and is become isolated from the world unaware with hi wife’s affair. Graham is the motivational speaker that’s flair is starting to win Jill over once again.

PerformancesCraig Roberts in the leading role is good as we understand his mindset through everything that he is going through, he makes his character standout as odd for the most part which is what is required. Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine bring the experience to their roles and it shows in their performances.

StoryThe story follows a school boy and his couple of months in life, which sees him get his first girlfriend and try to stop his family from falling apart. This story is told in three chapters which focuses on each moment Oliver is trying to change for the better, as he must learn that not everything in life was meant to be perfect in his eyes. The idea that a school kid is trying to make each moment in his life, how he envisioned it comes off strange because it shows us just how one view could be perfect, while the other view could see things as strange. The idea he doesn’t understand everything does help make this film feel more interesting because one day he will see that people needing to make their own decisions are important in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from moments that are quirky, even if they don’t hit every time, it is the romance side of the film which shows how young love can make teenagers go crazy.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Welsh village which shows how together the people are and how easy the popularity of the pupils in the school can rise and fall.

Scene of the Movie –
Close your eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Graham character is way over the top for the rest of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those quirky comedies I like to talk about, it has moments that will make you chuckle, while showing us what young love is really about.


Overall: Quirky romantic comedy.