Anita and Me (film)
Anita and Me
is a 2002 British comedy-drama
film directed by Metin Hüseyin
and starring Chandeep Uppal
, Kabir Bedi
, and Anna Brewster
. It is based on the book of the same name
by Meera Syal
. It was released during a period of popularity for British Asian
films, alongside such as East Is East
and Bend It Like Beckham
Meena Kumar, a 12-year-old Sikh
girl, lives with her family in the predominantly white, working-class
, fictional mining village of Tollington in the Black Country
in 1972. Meena meets Anita, a white, 14-year-old girl whom Meena comes to idolise. However, Meena finds it harder and harder to fit in as her Indian
heritage keeps on resurfacing, and Anita's new boyfriend proves to hold strong racist
attitudes toward those he regards as "darkies".
Meena Kumar – Chandeep Uppal
Anita Rutter – Anna Brewster
Mr Kumar – Sanjeev Bhaskar
Mrs Kumar – Ayesha Dharker
Deirdre Rutter – Kathy Burke
The Yeti – Kabir Bedi
Uncle Amman – Omid Djalili
Auntie Shaila – Meera Syal
Mrs Ormerod – Lynn Redgrave
Reverend 'Uncle' Alan – Mark Williams
Sam Lowbridge – Alex Freeborn
Hairy Neddy – Max Beesley
Nanima – Zohra Sehgal
Sandy – Christine Tremarco
Brenda – Lucy Pargeter
The film is semi-autobiographical, based on Syal's upbringing in Essington, Staffordshire. Despite being set in the West Midlands, sizeable parts of the film were shot in the East Midlands, notably the Derbyshire town of Draycott.
Anita and Me opened in cinemas on 22 November 2002 and earned £1,753,880 to 226 cinemas in the UK by 29 December. At the end of its opening weekend on 24 November, the film grossed £453,613 and by 29 December, it had grossed a further £42,446. Rotten Tomatoes reports the film as holding an overall 67% approval rating based on 6 reviews, with a rating average of 6/10. The film holds a rating of 6.3/10 at the Internet Movie Database.
Anita and Me has received mixed critical reviews. Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian commented that "There are zany vignets and comedy Indian relations galore, but the whole thing is very cardboard and stereotypical." Louise Keller from Urban CineFile Australia describes the film as "a sweet chapter in the life of a young girl battling to identify with her roots and environment". David Edwards calls Anita and Me "a well-meaning but uneven film". Vince Leo from Quipster has described the film as "a perfect example of a coming-of-age film". Rich Cline of Shadow on the Wall describes the film as being "enjoyable and funny, but there's not that much to it".
The film has been released in VHS and DVD format. The DVD was released in the UK on 26 May 2003 by Icon Home Entertainment. It was also released on DVD on 8 August 2006 by Image Entertainment.