Everywhere and Nowhere (R15)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner7/05/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Disappointing, seen-it-all-before British drama that assembles the usual clichés but fails to do anything interesting with them, thanks to a simplistic script, dull direction and some dodgy editing decisions.

What's it all about?
Directed by Menhaj Huda (Kidulthood), Everywhere and Nowhere stars James Floyd as Ash, a 20 year-old British Asian who's torn between appeasing his strict family traditions and his desire to become a DJ so he can share his happening sounds (i.e. Bollywood-infused rap tracks) with the world. Things look up for Ash when he meets Swedish photographer Bella (Katia Winter), whose connections to the nightclub scene put him a step closer to achieving his DJ dreams.

However, Ash's problems only get worse at home, where his hypocritical head-of-the-family brother Ahmed (Alyy Khan) persists in making life difficult for him. Meanwhile, Ash fails to notice (or care) that his troubled best friend Jaz (Elyes Gabel) is drifting towards religious extremism.

The Good
James Floyd is an attractive enough presence in the lead role, but his character is frustratingly passive throughout – he doesn't even seem all that fussed about the DJing, beyond a few scenes of him mixing tracks in his bedroom. Alyy Khan is suitably hissable but irritatingly one-dimensional as Ahmed, there's reliable support from Kidulthood veteran Adam Deacon (in the Adam Deacon role) as Ash's working class best friend Zaf, and Katia Winter is attractive but painfully underwritten as Bella.

The Bad
The main problem is that the film packs in all the usual clichés but fails to do anything interesting or engaging with any of them. It also has too many characters, as if attempting to tick off as many issues as possible in its allotted 96 minute running time: as well as religious extremism, culture clash, interracial dating and arranged marriages we also have a gay character being married off, destructive inter-family affairs, illicit pregnancies, ailing parents and casual racism.

Despite being stuffed with potentially interesting plots, the script is extremely dull and fails to engage on an emotional level; it is further hindered by flat, overly-simplistic and largely humourless dialogue. The film also fails to make the most of Ash's supposed musical abilities (the nightclub scene is handled hilariously badly) and there's at least one dodgy editing decision involving Ash and Bella that makes it seem as if an entire scene has gone missing.

Worth seeing?
Everywhere and Nowhere is a disappointing, poorly directed and badly written British drama that fails to engage on almost every level.

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Content updated: 26/01/2020 12:50

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