Runtime: 1hr 34m
Director: Clio Barnard
Starring: Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Ellora Torchia, Shaun Thomas, Natalie Gavin, Mona Goodwin, Krupa Pattani, Vinny Dhillon, Tasha Connor, Macy Shackleton
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/81579531
Ali is a 30-something landlord. He is well liked by his tenant and spends his time going from one property to another making sure the families that live in them are well looked after. One day a tenant is struggling to organise her daughter being picked up from school and Ali offers to help. While collecting the little girl, he meets her teacher Ava. On a particularly rainy day he offers Ava a ride home and they strike a conversation and discover a mutual love of music. Although their musical tastes differ the connection between them grows and they become friends.
Unfortunately this is made difficult due their very different backgrounds. Ali is an Asian man and Ava is a white, English woman. Although they themselves do not see this as an issue, many other people do and this causes friction with Ava’s family leaving them with a difficult decision. Do they remain friends or ignore concerns and apparent racist motivations of family and friends? This complication is compounded with feelings from Ava’s family that Ali is trying to interfere with Ava’s life and exploit her in some way and, also, Ali still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend.
“Ali & Ava” is a well shot and grounded film, made locally in Bradford, West Yorkshire. I thought this would be a great film to experience because I actually lived on the housing estate that the character of Ava lived. The film accurately portrays the estate and some of the people that lived there. Although the city of Bradford is considered multi-cultural, this particular part of the city is mostly white British and it is not out of the ordinary to see racist behaviour and opinions. Outside of the negative, the city gives a beautiful backdrop for the film.
The film has a well written script and shows the complications that can arise in what should be a very simple relationship. How outside influences can control how two people feel about each other – even if is clear that they have things in common and have a great connection.
Of course, a big sub-plot to the movie is the love of music and the soundtrack is a big part of the film. With local artists involved it, again, is a representation of the themes within the film.
Although it has romantic undertones, the dramatic events of the movie make it a great watch for most people. Maybe not a film I would rush to re-watch, but it is a film I would recommend others to see.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!