A teacher at his sister Tahara’s school, Roisin is different from any girl he’s ever met. She’s gorgeous, intelligent, and definitely possesses a mind of her own. She and Casim soon fall deeply in love. But sparks fly as cultures clash and personalities collide.
Ae Fond Kiss… 8.25
‘Ae Fond Kiss…’ is a film about prejudice, and its impact on individuals, families and communities. It’s also about tradition and religion, and how the limitations that come with their strict tenets are meant to protect but often serve to divide.
Due to their completely different heritage, Casim and Roisin face the disapproval of their family and community and mounting pressures to fall into step with their kin. In the process, they question their relationship, themselves, and even the intentions of the people around them.
But the big question is: what is the best course of action in the big picture?
Call me a romantic at heart if you must, but I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of amoureux trying to beat the odds, doing everything they can to do what feels right for them – despite all the expectations being put on them. They risked quite a bit in the name of Love, even though they knew very well how fleeting it can be.
Frankly, it’s unimaginable to me, having never been in a similar situation. Being shunned by one’s family, the community, and even having one’s career on the line just for loving someone? Madness! (obviously, I know a lot of people have experienced this. It’s nothing new. But it still blows my mind that this can happen).
I was completely infuriated with the lengths at which even the family members would go to conspire against their own. Casim’s family kept claiming that they were doing it for him, but it was self-evident that they were doing it for themselves; they were caving in to outside forces instead of doing right by him and letting him follow his heart.
And the worst thing is that the couple knows that no relationship is guaranteed – it’s addressed at a couple of instances. But they also recognize that there are never any guarantees in Love; passion trumps purported dutifulness for them. To be honest, I’m not convinced that they have a chance, in the long-term (based on their characters), but I can’t help but give them kudos for their efforts.
Anyway, aside from the basic plot and development, there are a number of other elements of note:
– I liked that both of our leads are attractive enough to be eye-candy for each other, but not gorgeous in that flawless Hollywood way; whereas they appeal to each other, they might not catch others’ eyes. It felt more down to earth that way, more real, much like their characters and their family and work relationships are.
– Eva Birthistle is the highlight of the film. Although her counterpart, Atta Yaqub, held his own, he was a bit “deer in the headlights”. She, however, was FAN-tastic. She could run through a palette of emotion effortlessly, I think, and so naturally that you believe the character completely. Very nice.
– Casim’s father was both an amusing and sympathetic character, even though he is extremely close-minded and only wants to have his way. At first I thought that he might end up being the goofy caricature of the film, but he ended up being a much more complex personage than expected. It was nothing new, but it was a well-written part.
– I was impressed with the first lovemaking sequence in ‘Ae Fond Kiss…’; they made something special out of relatively little. Instead of amping things up like they usually do with first times (so to speak ), they made it a rather simple, but very playful, moment that most viewers could easily relate to. And it’s still sexy.
Basically, I can’t say anything bad about ‘Ae Fond Kiss…’: it’s simply a lovely, lovely film. It’s extremely well-crafted and it breezed by effortlessly. It’s a funny, dramatic, sexy, heartbreaking and thought-provoking ditty that is well worth checking out; one would be hard-pressed to not be fond of it.