- Genre: Comedy
- Details: UK/105mins 15A
- Release Date: 04/06/2010
Djalili is a family man whose Mother has just passed away. Going through her things he finds his birth cert that shows the Muslim raised Londoner was actually born Jewish. With his son looking to marry the step-daughter of a dangerous fundamentalist, the news couldn't have come at a worse time. Hooking up with Richard Schiff's American Jew in London, he learns the ways of a religion his people have had immense friction with over the years - but in a funny, slapstick way.
Not as smart as it thinks it is, and directed in a TV by-the-numbers fashion, The Infidel is a movie that probably worked better during its inception than it does on celluloid. Baddiel is obviously trying to make a point about tolerance in a comedic manner, and Djalili coveys the apathy of a moderate Muslin very well, but can't elevate a 'limping past the first' third script, that descends into utter farce towards the end. The point-and-shoot, somewhat uninspired helming from Appignanesi really doesn't help, as he struggles to keep things moving along, and make the film look less like an episode of The Bill.
There are some moments of sharpness; the majority of them from Djalili. His initial meeting with Schiff's cabby is thoroughly amusing, with the two playing off each other well from then on in. But cameos from the likes of Matt Lucas and Paul Kaye seem to have been included to beef up the casting list on IMDB, and nothing else.
A fine idea for a film, The Infidel has a strong leading man, and some mildly cutting comedy. It just fails to find a tone its comfortable with, and doesn't have enough laughs, or enough drama to find a home in either category, or find a happy medium within the two.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 4th June 2010 | Movie Review
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