Laughs and tears in 'All In Good Time'

Laughs and tears in 'All In Good Time'

Love won’t necessarily tear you apart, but it will certainly inflict some serious bruising.

Set in Bolton, 'All In Good Time' is a tender-hearted contemporary comedy about two newlyweds who discover that the honeymoon period ends much quicker than anticipated.

Adapted from the acclaimed stage production 'Rafta, Rafta' by Ayub Khan-Din, itself based on a 1965 play by Bill Naughton, Nigel Cole’s follow-up to 'Made In Dagenham' emphasises the importance of honesty and respect between the generations in multi-cultural Britain.

Khan-Din’s script retains the humour that delivered belly laughs in the theatre, from one Indian father explaining why the vicar ushered out wedding guests to make way for the Harvest festival (“Jesus doesn’t eat curry”) to some tart one-liners about the traditions of God-fearing Asian families.

There are obvious parallels with Khan-Din’s 'East Is East', especially the friction between the patriarch of the family and his oldest boy.

Atul Dutt (Reece Ritchie) and his blushing bride Vina (Amara Karan) exchange vows at a traditional Indian ceremony in front of family and friends.

Following the ceremony, the happy couple retire to a bedroom under the roof of interfering Eeshwar Dutt (Harish Patel) and his wife Lopa (Meera Syal).

The newlyweds look forward to consummating the relationship for the first time before flying abroad for their honeymoon.

However, Atul is haunted by the words of his father – “A son should be the first thing on a man’s agenda” – which dampens his ardour and creates embarrassment and tension on what should be the happiest day of his life.

To rub salt into Atul’s wounds, his dream getaway with Vina is cancelled at the last moment, leaving them to rue what might have been as Eeshwar continually espouses his theories on the secret to marital bliss.

Eventually, all of the meddling becomes too much for Vina and echoing the words of Princess Diana, she snaps: “No wonder this marriage has never got off the ground. There are too many people in it: you, me and your Dad.”

Even Lopa is forced to take issue with her husband, sternly inquiring, “Why does it always look like you take pleasure in hurting him?”

'All In Good Time' adheres closely to its stage origins, framing the key conversations within the Dutt family home.

Cole occasionally ventures into Bolton to expand his film’s horizons but the intimacy of the domestic setting works well, increasing friction between Eeshwar and the rest of the clan until painful truths are exposed and the tears flow.

Patel infuriates and tugs the heartstrings, while Ritchie and Karan impress in their scenes together.

Surprising revelations in the final act leave us just as shell-shocked as the characters and provide us with a greater understanding of their insecurities.

Star Rating: 3/5

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