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All In Good Time

All In Good Time

Released 11 May 2012
Director Nigel Cole

Amara Karan, Reece Ritchie, Meera Syal, Arsher Ali, Harish Patel, Neet Mohan
Writer(s) Ayub Khan-Din, Bill Naughton
Producer(s) Suzanne Mackie
Origin United Kingdom
Running Time 93 minutes
Genre Drama
Rating 15A

Time’s up.

All in Good Time (directed by Nigel Cole) comes from the pen of Ayub Khan-Din, writer of East is East. It shares quite a lot of similarities with that film as again we are given a snap-shot of an immigrant family as they prepare for a wedding. This time though, the groom Atul (played by Reece Ritchie) is very willing. He is marrying his sweetheart Vina (Amara Karan) and the young couple can’t wait to be husband and wife and set off on their lives together far from their meddling families, in particular Atul’s bullying father Eeshwar (Harish Patel). The nuptials go to plan but after the travel company that organised their honeymoon goes bust, they are back in Atul’s small family house. Here, the couple feel unable to consummate their marriage and soon their relationship is in trouble.

While the film aims for the same mix of bawdy humour and family drama that East is East pulled off so well, All in Good Time never hits either mark. There are several reasons for this. First, the plot is a complete non-entity. It’s hard to stay engaged with the couple’s marital disputes when it all could have been avoided by booking into a hotel when their arranged honeymoon fell through. Second, none of the characters are all that sympathetic or funny. While Vina is a sweet girl, Atul comes across as a sulking wimp and Ritchie fails to inject any life into his performance. Eeshwar meanwhile is deeply unpleasant rather than funny. Since their father/son relationship is where the emotional pay-off of the film really lies, it’s hard to be all that invested.

Most confusing for me though was how old hat it all felt. East is East took place in a community that was changing as second generation immigrants began to feel the pull of modern England against their traditional roots. Fast forward forty years and according to All in Good Time, not much has changed. The young couple here never rebel against the closetting effect their family traditions have on them or stand up to the ludicrous amount of input the parents have into their private lives. Because of this, the characters’ plight never seems believable or all that interesting. Have the cultural changes begun in the 1970s still not had an effect on immigrant communities? Surely not; more likely All in Good Time is living in the past.

- Linda O’Brien