Bollywood Queen

Ambitious British-Asian musical

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Co-written by former NME editor and occasional Uncut contributor Neil Spencer, this stars James McAvoy (TV’s State Of Play) as a lad up from the West Country to join his brother in the rag trade. There he runs into Geena, whose family run a rival garment factory. Head filled with notions of destiny and Bollywood romance, she falls for Jay, much to the disgust of her family, who attempt to coerce her into resuming her relationship with flash but dull Dilip. Intimations of Romeo And Juliet abound as Jay and Geena persist in seeing each other, breaking into song at moments of high emotion and drama, with events coming to a head at an Indian wedding.

Though often nicely observed, Bollywood Queen is let down by flat acting and some stilted dialogue which gives it the feel of a mid-’80s EastEnders episode dealing with the Asian Question. But the musical interludes are a clever conceit and work surprisingly well. Tentative as it is, Bollywood Queen may be looked on as an early milestone in British-Asian cinema.


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