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A Feature by Mary Couzens for EXTRA! EXTRA!


Studio Canal



A Left Bank Pictures presentation


All in Good Time




Release Date May 2012



(The Lovely Bones, Prince Of Persia – The Sands Of Time)

(St Trinian’s, The Darjeeling Limited)

(The Kumars at no 42, Anita & Me)

(Run Fat Boy Run)










Production Designer CRISTINA CASALI


Assistant Directors NIGE WATSON, BEN HOWARD

Director of Photography DAVID HIGGS

Casting Director LEO DAVIS & LISSY HOLM

Costume Designer NATALIE WARD


Special Screening for Cast and Crew April 25, 2012


Vue Cinema West End


At the risk of sounding trite, this is a lovely film. I say ‘lovely’, as its’ director Nigel Cole, who also directed Calendar Girls, said at this special screening for cast and crew that every frame of this film is ‘full of love,’ and it shows.  Cole’s latest venture is a little movie, in the best sense of the word, as it focuses on a comparatively small, but nonetheless important story in the lives of two families, whose respective son and daughter marry, then experience complications in their formerly smooth romance.

The contemporary film adaptation of All in Good Time, by Ayub Khan Din, (screenwriter of popular films East is East and West is West)adapted from his hit play, Rafta Rafta, were both in turn, inspired by Bill Naughton’s 1963 play All in Good Time, itself, made into the classic film In the Family Way. In its present, British Asian incarnation, Rafta, Rafta, as Din, called his play, was staged firstly, at London’s National Theatre, followed by a similarly successful West End run. This filmic version of his play sings, and it’s not even a musical! This is because its’ storyline as portrayed onscreen is funny, though intelligent, and bittersweet, yet wise and joyous without ever being coy or self conscious. These winning paradoxes allow viewers to engage fully with its’ absorbing storyline and characters, i.e. to feel surprised when they do, sad, and to laugh too, breathing along with them as it were. This is an achievement in film, these days, very rare indeed, and thus, greatly appreciated and savoured whenever it appears. That in a nutshell, is the grand magic of cinema. But such magic would not have been possible without the attentive directing of Nigel Cole and generous acting of an enlivened cast of actors who fully inhabit their characters, allowing us to visit them in the world Khan Din and Cole have created for them, and us.

The action, set in present day Bolton, Lancastershire, literally opens atop a wedding umbrella as two wonderfully starry-eyed young people, Vina (Amara Karan) and Atul (Reece Ritchie) in traditional Indian dress are married beneath it, the camera moving lovingly onto their faces as their eyes meet in their crowning moment. That this is true love, there is no doubt, and the sight of their happiness lingers, as the camera scans the celebrating crowd, next, from the point of view of mother of the groom, Lopa Dutt, (Meera Syal). As such, we see Harish Patel, as rotund Eeshwar Dutt, doing a fabulously self-gratifying turn on the dance floor leaving little room for anyone else with his look at me antics. Wife Lopa is peeved, but only mildly so – she’s been there before. Three women seemingly joined at the hip, act as a comic version of the Greek chorus of yore, commenting on everything, as long as it’s none of their business. The mother of the groom stands on the outskirts with her bemused husband,  wondering aloud if they are ‘going to be serving hot dogs,’ as this garlanded, fairy light lit extravaganza is taking place in a Scout Hall. This is just the beginning of what is a very well rounded film, just as notable for its intermittent dollops of achingly blues tinged, suppressed pathos as it is for its abundantly warm laughter of recognition. The broadness of the three gossips is therefore excusable, as it’s always, well placed.

As my film maker companion noted, the editing in this film is ‘air-tight,’ as is its camera work, which seems to pay homage to classic films of yore like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and vintage US pot-boilers, juxtaposed, in my considered opinion, with modern day UK sit-coms (high standard), soap operas and occasional drops of Bollywood froth, all blended into a very appealing mix. But to an extent, for many of us life is a soap opera cum circus of sorts, as we’ve been influenced by the theatricality of all the hoopla that surrounds us, however inadvertently. Perhaps that’s what makes the personal touches in this film so absorbing. It’s really engrossing and, enjoyable to watch actors play characters who are just being themselves. The film’s deceptively simplistic storyline is very well conceived and enacted.

On its Romeo and Julietesque (circa the 1968, innocent, ever fresh Zeffirelli version) surface, All in Good Time is about two young newlyweds who gradually learn that love is not enough without empathy and patience, and, ultimately, understanding. But there’s a lot more to this filmic gem than a story of two people, which, as Bogie said to Bergman in Casablanca, doesn’t ‘amount to a hill of beans’ in the scheme of things. For it’s one with a rich tapestry of bittersweet subtext running through it. Watching Atul and Vina struggle, fail, and reach for the golden ring of happiness yet again, one cannot help but think of the fleeting nature of time. Their ebb and flow conveys a wider cycle when viewed in conjunction with relationships of family and friends and their collective endearing/infuriating, oft fluctuating tendencies, mirroring our own. This is, somehow, simultaneously comforting and perplexing.  But the best art always reflects those viewing it, in a way that makes them ponder their own foibles and nuances in its wake.

Many other timeless themes are explored too: what makes a man a man, relationships and rivalries between father and son, friendship, what constitutes love and acceptance, both positive and negative. The deceptively simple way these human issues are explored is a big part of this story and film’s charm.

Though the visual landscapes of this contemporary ‘kitchen sink’ film tends to balance its action precariously on the edge of a dream, standing hopes that seem to be happily, materializing alongside  those which have unexpectedly withered and vanished, its message is ultimately one of great love.



Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aub3lEjABuo&feature=youtu.be
Running Time 93 minutes









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