Review: ‘Finding Fatimah’ Highlights the stigmas in the Asian community


This mod­ern age romantic com­edy, ‘Find­ing Fatimah’ is actu­ally quite refresh­ing as it did not take itself too ser­i­ously.  Cour­ageously address­ing many stig­mas in the Muslim, par­tic­u­larly Asi­an com­munity I won­der why such issues are always addressed with humor per­haps they are easi­er to openly address this way.

The Brit­ish movie set in Manchester stars Danny Ashok as the young Muslim ‘Shadid’ on a quest to find love in the form of his future life part­ner, which turns out to be quite a struggle. The movie opens with a self video of Shadid recor­ded for a dat­ing site which insantly adds a does of real­ity and some­thing we could all relate to – want­ing to find the right part­ner to share our lives with. At the age of 30 with no career pro­spects, as a strug­gling stand up comedi­an, his quest to find love is fur­ther com­plic­ated by the fact he is a — divorcee.

He is accused of being a, ‘bad Muslim’ for exper­i­en­cing a mar­riage which didn’t work out, as a res­ult he feels he is forced to even­tu­ally hide this fact from his poten­tial part­ner which goes on to com­plic­ate mat­ters. This storyline allows the writers free­dom to address many oth­er taboos which are faced in the Muslim com­munity, even today such as inter eth­ni­city mar­riages – Shahid is Banglade­shi and Fatimah is Pakistani and even though both are Muslim, this is an issue for their families.

Mis­con­cep­tions of status in soci­ety, it’s com­mon for Muslim par­ents to want their chil­dren to marry rich and suc­cess­ful part­ners (such as Fatimah’s sis­ter in the movie) how­ever she tells Fatimah to break the cycle by mar­ry­ing the one she loves – Shadid. This was futhur rein­forced by Fatimah’s fath­er try­ing to set her up with Jahid who is involved in polit­ics, but he turns out to be a recre­ation­al drug user which her fath­er is will­ing to over­look – once again I think this is very true to real­ity when some­times ‘being a good Muslim’ is con­fused with being ‘suc­cess­ful in soci­ety’. This whole theme is echoed by Fatimah’s par­ents almost ‘love­less’ mar­riage where com­mu­nic­a­tion between the couple is very weak.

Anoth­er point which was touched on was domest­ic abuse on men by women which I have nev­er seen men­tioned in the Asi­an com­munity it is usu­ally the oth­er way around, so I felt this was a brave move.

I really enjoyed the var­ied cam­era angles and extens­ive use and ref­er­ence to social media rein­for­cing that in this day and age many Brit Asi­ans turn to apps and online web­sites to find their life part­ners. I felt some of the ste­reo­types were slightly over­done but per­haps this was to make them very appar­ent such as Shadid’s ex Wife Fiza who had ridicu­lously penciled on eye­brows. As a Brit­ish Muslim myself I can’t per­son­ally say I have friends such as those char­ac­ters but they were enter­tain­ing none the less!

Over­all it was good to see some up and com­ing Brit Asi­an act­ors in an enter­tain­ing movie, light­heartedly address­ing some very real issues with­in the Brit­ish Muslim com­munity which I think would be enter­tain­ing and thought pro­vok­ing to every­one both Muslim and non-Muslims as we can all relate on try­ing to find the right life partner.

Find­ing Fatimah Is in cinemas now. 


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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this artform.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.