Bhaji On the Beach (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bhaji On the Beach (1995)

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Critic Consensus: Beautifully filmed and cleverly written, Bhaji on the Beach makes the most of its talented ensemble cast.

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Movie Info

An assembly of Indian women, both immigrants and their British-born brethren, travel to the English seaside in this comic drama. The plot focuses on a trio of young women caught between tradition and independence: Ginder (Kim Vithana), who risks the uncertainties of social ostracism and single motherhood in order to escape from her abusive husband; Hashida (Sarita Khajuria), who jeopardizes her promising future in medical school when she becomes pregnant by her West Indian boyfriend (Mo Sesay); and Simi (Shaheen Khan), who integrates her feminist politics and her commitment to her culture by heading up the Saheli Asian Women's Group. To provide the women of her community with a chance to get together and enjoy themselves, Simi organizes a ladies-only trip to Blackpool, a seaside resort town that resembles Atlantic City. Along for the ride are boy-crazy teens, conservative matrons, and a garish visitor from Bombay, each of them offering a singular perspective on Asian immigrant culture. Asha (Lalita Ahmed), a middle-aged wife, mother, and newsstand proprietor, spends much of the trip experiencing picturesque visions in which an Indian goddess reprimands her for the missed opportunities in her life. Introspection gets pre-empted, however, when Ginder's husband (Jimmi Harkishin) and his brothers show up looking for a little involuntary family reunion. Bhaji on the Beach screenwriter Meera Syal would go on to pen the award-winning novel (Anita and Me) and work on Goodness Gracious Me, the BBC's Indian/Pakistani sketch comedy show. Fans of Anglo-Asian cinema will recognize actress Souad Faress, who plays the colorful Rekha Tendon, from her role as the haughty Cherry in My Beautiful Laundrette. Akbar Kurtha, who plays one of Ginder's brothers-in-law, would go on to portray the title character in My Son the Fanatic. Writer/director Gurinder Chadha would return with another ensemble feature, What's Cooking?, in 2000. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

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Cast

Mo Sesay
as Oliver
Souad Faress
as Rekha Tendon
Peter Cellier
as Ambrose Waddington
Shireen Shah
as Hashida's Mother
Bharti Patel
as Refuge Woman
Hugo Speer
as Andy/White Youth
Judith David
as Cafe Owner
Shad Ali
as Raman
Neera Sharma
as Madhu and Ladhu's Mother
Raymond Wallbank
as Organ Player
Jonathan Cohen
as Nightclub Dancer
Steve Burgland
as Nightclub Dancer
Mark Mayhem
as Nightclub Dancer
Matt Young
as Karaoke Man
Becky Marling
as Waitress
Rudolph Walker
as Leonard Baptiste
Gurdial Sira
as Hashida's Father
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Critic Reviews for Bhaji On the Beach

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (24)

In the film, beachside donkey rides, ferris wheels, striped deck chairs and the blue expanse of the ocean aren't just seasonal pleasures, they're images of liberation.

May 12, 2021 | Full Review…

The scenes in Blackpool are vibrant, funny and finally quite complex and powerful.

May 10, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There is flavoursome charm in the performances and the seedy-photogenic setting.

May 10, 2021 | Full Review…

Chadha has a great eye, and there's scarcely a frame of Bhaji on the Beach that doesn't offer up something beguiling or entrancing.

March 19, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Pleasant enough while it lasts (notwithstanding some overemphatic fantasy scenes, in mockery of the Bombay cinema, and a heavy-handed face-off with a wife-beater), but nothing much to remember the next morning.

March 18, 2021 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

The film raises tough questions of tradition and assimilation, and rightly refuses to give any answers.

March 18, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bhaji On the Beach

½

Miles better than 'Bend it Like Beckham'.

Emily B.
Emily B.

Super Reviewer

Bhaji On the Beach Quotes

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