blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Honour (2014, Shan Khan)

Aiysha Hart stars in HONOUR, directed by Shan Khan for Entertainment One.

It's been a while since I've seen something to remind me how much I hate a fractured narrative in film. There are the handful of good examples and then the multitude of terrible ones (usually aping one of the good ones). Honour is one of the bad ones. Writer and director Khan wraps the film into a ball, going with bombastic scenes to remind the viewer of their place in the timeline. Unfortunately, the bombast carries over to the rest of the film, which utterly lacks subtext.

Aiysha Hart plays a young Muslim woman with a hideous family. Her mother (Harvey Virdi) hates her for dishonoring the family and controls her also evil, dimwitted brother (Faraz Ayub). They conspire to kill her because she's carrying on with Nikesh Patel. Patel has been lying to Hart about his engagement status and his willingness to be with her. Khan opens the film with some Muslim women getting assaulted on a train–in public, so you know the rest of the world doesn't care–then proceeds to show all Muslim men (and half the women) are awful anyway. Except Shubham Saraf, as the reluctant, well-meaning brother.

But none of the family members have honest relationships so it all feels cheap and exploitative. If Khan had just given Hart a machete and done a proper revenge thriller, it'd have been at least diverting exploitation.

The crappy script and pedestrian direction don't help either.

Hart's appealing, but her character's so lame, it's hard to care.

Big fail.



Written and directed by Shan Khan; director of photography, David Higgs; edited by Beverley Mills; music by Theo Green; production designer, Andy Harris; produced by Nisha Parti and Jason Newmark; released by Entertainment One UK.

Starring Aiysha Hart (Mona), Paddy Considine (Bounty), Faraz Ayub (Kasim), Shubham Saraf (Adel), Harvey Virdi (Mother) and Nikesh Patel (Tanvir).


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