Top

Amar Akbar & Tony (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

July 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Atul Malhotra’s “Amar Akbar & Tony” is an entertaining comedy film that touches upon culture and contemporary life in London without having to become deep or banal.  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2015 AAT Films Limited. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Amar Akbar & Tony

FILM RELEASE: 2015

DURATION: 96 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1:85:1 aspect ratio, English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

COMPANY: Kino Lorber

RATED: N/A

Release Date: June 28, 2016


Directed by Atul Malhotra

Story and Written by Atul Malhotra

Produced by Victoria Barrell, Atul Malhotra

Executive Producer: Rohit Kumar, Sandeep Puri

Associate Producer: Martin Delaney, Rez Kempton

Music by Rishi Rich

Cinematography by Jorge Luengas

Edited by Gareth Blower, Alex Morgan

Casting by Shakyra Dowling, Kristina Erdely

Production Design by Damien Creagh

Art Direction by Annalisa Andriani

Costume Design by Julie Jones


Starring:

Rez Kempton as Amar

Sam Vincenti as Akbar

Martin Delaney as Tony

Karen David as Meera

Laura Aikman as Samantha

Goldy Notay as Sonia

Meera Syal as Honey

Nina Wadia as Seema

Tanveer Ghani as Uncle Jay

Amrita Acharia as Richa

Mark Moraghan as George Williams


A Sikh, a Muslim and an Irish Catholic take stock of their lives in contemporary London in Atul Malhotra s coming of age romantic comedy drama Amar Akbar & Tony. The title is an homage to a 70s Bollywood classic and sets the tone for a unique film marrying the storytelling styles of British Independent cinema with that of the Bollywood narrative as Amar Akbar & Tony come of age, cause chaos and fall in love in multicultural London.


From filmmaker Atul Malhotra (“Card Shark”, “Lethal Attraction”) comes his British comedy “Amar Akbar & Tony”.  A title that pays homage to the ’70s Bollywood action film but in this case, a comedy.

The film stars Rez Kempton (“The Mummy”, “I Can’t Think Straight”), Sam Vincenti (“Alfie”, “Brothers”, “I Can’t Think Straight”), Martin Delaney (“Now You See Me 2”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Beowulf & Grendel”), Karen David (“Once Upon a Time”, “Cold Feet”, “The Scorpion King 2”), Laura Aikman (“Casualty”, “The Mysti Show”, “Keith Lemon: The Film”), Meera Syal (“Doctr Strange”, “The Jumars at No. 42”, “Beautiful Thing”), Goldy Notay (“Sex and the city 2”, “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife”), Amrita Acharia (“Game of Thrones”, “The Devil’s Double”) and more.

And now the film will be available on DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber.

The film follows three friends from childhood, a Sikh named Amar (portrayed by Rez Kempton), a Muslim named Akbar (portrayed by Sam Vincenti) and an Irish Catholic named Tony (portrayed by Martin Delaney).

Amar is a law student who is about to graduate and is engaged to Richa (portrayed by Amrita Acharia) and life is looking great for him. His family owns a restaurant and are proud of his son who is embarking on a new chapter of his life.

Meanwhile, Akbar is pursuing a career in real estate and hopefully inheriting his father’s business and loves flirting with the women.  But unfortunately, their buddy Tony isn’t so good at girls.

So, the guys often try to get their friend Tony to go after a beautiful woman but her overprotective brother ends up giving Tony a black eye.

Meanwhile, Tony finds out that the woman goes jogging at the park and unaware that her brother is nearby and sees Tony trying to get close to his sister and once again, chases him down, but Tony manages to escape.

As the group celebrate Amar’s engagement and have fun, afterward, Amar and his fiance, Akbar and Tony all head to a club where the man (whose sister Tony keeps trying to flirt with), spots him going to the bathroom and the man and his friends beat Tony up badly and are near killing him until Amar and Akbar intervene.

Amar spots the man pulling out a knife and is about to hurt Akbar, but Amar jumps in and a fight ensues and the man ends up getting stabbed in the belly.

Amar ends up getting arrested and goes to prison for three years.  Losing his career, losing his fiance and literally losing everything.

Fast forward three years later and, Amar’s sister Sonia (portrayed by Goldy Notay) is driving her father’s brother, her Uncle Jay (portrayed by Tanveer Ghani) and his wife Meera (portrayed by Karen David) to their home.  Meera is sad about leaving her home and visiting England.

Meanwhile Amar’s father and mother and Jay discuss Amar’s upcoming release from prison and his father could only hope he holds his head up high.  No one has seen Amar since he went to prison, as he didn’t want anyone to see or visit him.

As for Akbar, he now is a doing well as a real estate agent and he meets Samantha (portrayed by Laura Aikman) and often flirts with her.

And as for Tony, he wants to meet a woman and tries to go to a business that arranges weddings.  And when he is assigned to a possible wife who just came from India, he finds out that it’s an older woman named Honey (portrayed by Meera Syal), who turns out to be too much for him.

After his release from prison, Amar has changed.  Harboring anger towards Tony for all that has happened, he tells his Tony that he wants him to feel sorry for what he had done.

When Amar goes to visit his father’s restaurant, he meets Meera and finds out that his Uncle Jay has taken over the family business.

When Amar meets his father, his father tries to give him wise words to hold his head high and explains to him why the restaurant didn’t go to him and his father tells him that he wants him to work hard to earn his own self-respect.

As Amar is unemployed, and when he meets up with Akbar, Akbar tells him that a restaurant defaulted and he wants Akbar to run it, since he has restaurant experience and that there is a room upstairs that he can live in, rent free as payment for saving his life from the attack three years ago.

But with Amar out of prison, how will life work out for Amar, Akbar & Tony?


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Amar Akbar & Tony” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio) and for the most part, picture quality is as good as it can get on DVD.  While I wished the film was released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber, for the most part picture quality is very good.

The soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and while dialogue is crystal clear, the film features a lot of music which sounds great on DVD.  Surround channels are reserved for ambiance and crowd-based scenes.

 

Closed Captions are included.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Amar Akbar & Tony” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Director Atul Malhotra
  • Cast commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Karen David, Laura Aikman, Rez Kempton, Sam Vincenti and Martin Delaney.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage – (3:34) Featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film.
  • Deleted Scenes – (9:22) Deleted scenes from the film.
  • On Location – (2:50) A featurette featuring the crew and talent on location.
  • Premiere Footage – (1:20) Featuring the premiere of “Amar Akbar & Tony” and cast and guests posing for photographers.
  • Trailer – The theatrical trailer for “Amar Akbar & Tony”.

In America, we are often introduced to buddy films that involve the banal, sex, drugs and hilarious (or really dumb) comedy.

But with Atul Malhotra’s “Amar Akbar & Tony”, we have a buddy film that has the sex and comedy but most importantly, it showcases three friends, a Sikh, a Muslim and an Irish Catholic.

A homage to the classic 1977 Indian action comedy film “Amar Akbar Anthony” about friends who were also raised in three different faiths but a much different setting (and also deals with criminal syndicates and revenge), “Amar Akbar & Tony” is a film that begins like comedy.

Almost reminiscent to a scene in the ’80s film “The Wanderers” where friends cajole their buddy to take part in a game to talk to women, Akbar gets their buddy Tony to talk to a beautiful woman, who happens to have an overprotective brother that will kill anyone who gets near her.

But the direction of the film changes when law school graduate and newly engaged Amar gets caught up in Tony’s mess, when the brother comes to a club where the friends are at and a fight ensues.  The man pulls out a knife but before anyone can get hurt, Amar grabs the mans arm and while struggling, the man ends up getting stabbed.  And poor Amar, who just celebrated his engagement party and a celebration to his new job in law, now sees everything disappear  as he is arrested and eventually serves three years in prison.

While Tony serves as the film’s source of comedy due to his hijinks of trying to find a woman, Amar finds himself getting closer to his uncle’s wife, while Akbar finds himself falling for a Caucasian woman named Samantha.

And the film does explore race relations because Akbar is Muslim and his family as Samantha’s family is curious about Akbar’s family and how they feel about Muslim extremists and terrorism.

But for the most part, I found it fascinating of how writer/director Atul Malhotra was able to craft a multicultural film that touches upon race relations, family, arranged marriages, marriage, homosexuality, honor and losing face within society for a crime or something troublesome to the culture.

There are a variety of topics that the film touches upon and while it seems those topics can get too deep and serious, Malhotra manages to keep things loose, enjoyable and entertaining.

Picture quality and audio is as good as one can expect on DVD.  But as for special features, while there are numerous featurettes and deleted scenes, the film also comes with two audio commentary tracks.

Overall, Atul Malhotra’s “Amar Akbar & Tony” is an entertaining comedy film that touches upon culture and contemporary life in London without having to become deep or banal.  Recommended!

Bottom