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Mischief Night
UKScreen Rating:

Mischief Night – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

We’re in Leeds in the run up to an annual festival known as “Mischief Night” where, as the name suggests, the kids run around being mischievous.
On the kind of run-down estates where all these characters live, any night could be described thus.
This part of town is very clearly divided, with Tina (Hollis) living with her on-off boyfriend and kids by a variety of relationships, on one side of the park and the many Khans, crammed into a terraced house on the other side of the park, populated by all the Pakistani families.
While everything from race relations, drugs and Islamic fundamentalism threatening to tear the community apart, Tina’s unexpected reunion with her former schoolmate Immie (Tikaram) causes as many tensions as it eases.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

There are some interesting ideas hiding in here somewhere – including hypocrisy over race relations and how the staid and traditional moderate muslims find it hard to fight off the more exciting rabble-rousing fundamentalism of the young – but surrounding them with a story about a bunch of loathsome kids throwing eggs at people and playing knock-down-ginger at the local paedophile’s house takes away any impact that the intelligent parts of the story would otherwise have.
Instead, it becomes a bawdy chain of obvious, largely sick humour, playing to every stereotype imaginable on both sides of the racial divide.
They’re all such caricatures that it’s hard to identify with any of them – when bad things happen to these characters, rather than feeling sorry for them, you’re more likely to think “about time too” or “they deserve it.”
The one thing I cared for even less than most of these characters was the concept of Mischief Night in the first place – it was like Hallowe’en without the costumes, like trick-or-treat without the treats.
Like the film in general, Mischief Night appears to be a loathsome, pointless waste of time and space that will appeal largely to the lowest common denominator. At best, it’s a wasted opportunity that leaves a nasty taste in your mouth.

opens nationwide 3rd November 2006

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