Every instance of grief, embarrassment, disappointment, and failure known only by teenage boys can be attributed to cosmological powers beyond their control or a bummer ticket in the biological lottery. imran j khanThe first feature ofMustache,chooses to lump the two under the same weird umbrella. If a lad can be betrayed by his own body, surely it is within the power of the universe to provoke the betrayal, laying the groundwork for early body image issues, hormonal, emotional and cultural issues. together together It is one thing to grow unsightly facial hair and it is another thing for your folks to forbid you to shave it off.
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life is not fair. Elias (Atharva Verma), the lead of “Mustache”, finds life to be incredibly unfair to him, growing up Muslim in a Pakistani-American household, surrounded by his bisexual siblings who treat his problems as a nuisance and Do not take them or them seriously and control them closely. His strict father, Hameed (Rizwan Manji). By comparison, his mother, Asiya (Meesha Shafi), is permissive. Later in the film, we learn that she used to be an artist; Even later, Ilyas asks him why he stopped painting, and in his curt, trim response, we get the kind of depth that Khan’s supporting cast usually lacks. This is the moment where “Mustache” comes closest to fully realizing Elias’ world and giving it ballast, weight, anecdotes and details about the characters with whom he interacts in the film’s short running time. .
Khan’s costume restrictions hold “Mustache” back from potential greatness. Ilyas is well defined as clumsy, hesitant, and aloof from the community, both in the writing and in Varma’s performance; He wants to be good, but he also wants out of life what he is restricted by because of his background. Being a good Muslim requires the patience and determination of a child at least 13 years old. This means self-denial, which for a high school-aged child is to avoid participating in most of the same activities as their peers. That’s useless. Ilyas could probably afford to grow his sparse and rough lips, if that’s all that’s needed for the “good Muslim” appeal. But it requires too much, and he wants more from his teenage self than he can afford.
“Mustache” draws its plot from Ilyas’ experience. Sick of his classmates’ chanting, Ilyas gets into a scuffle with another student at the Islamic private school he attends; He is a participant in the fight but is not responsible for starting it. Unfortunately for him, school administrators don’t care much about who makes it and who they can punish for negligence. Therefore, they take away his scholarship as a result of his actions. Without the scholarship, Islamic school is out of Hameed’s financial reach. There’s only one thing to do: put Elias in public school, and leave him fuzzy on the details. He doesn’t know why. He just has to realize he threw the bag, and that’s what you get when you can’t handle the daily rigors of being a good Muslim.
The parents do not understand now. This is as true today as it was in 1988. “Mustache” parallels Hameed’s struggle with Ilyas’ family and faith; Hameed carries the burden of supporting his family in the face of the dotcom disaster, where the only certainty is that the internet bubble has burst and he is right in the splash zone. But he is also conflicted as a Muslim man, even though Khan only goes so far as to suggest Hameed’s anxieties while he can dramatize them. The industry generally acknowledges Manji as a comic actor, bordering on “simple” and “silly”. “Mustache” gives him a chance to escape from that pigeon house. He seizes it with a sense of purpose. Even in its harshest form, Hameed is meant for the best. Manji sets aside seriousness for the kind of despair that every parent knows all too well as despair collides with their hopes and love for their children.
Hameed wants Ilyas to find himself. He is also accustomed to a structure that restricts self-discovery, which is why Elias plots his own downward spiral; He thinks that if he causes enough trouble, Hameed and Asiya will have no choice but to pull him out of public school and put him back in private school. A short but effective montage of his various plans in action tells us some essential details about the kid: He’s not good at being bad – dropping bags of oregano as weed, replacing Big Macs with halal burgers But forget to toss up the packaging – and Khan is very good at using standard setups to hit punchlines, tailored to the details of a Muslim upbringing. “Mustache” is certainly funny, alternating between fond chuckles and big belly laughs and succeeding, and without losing the specificity needed to ground its cultural mores.
But the film misses opportunities to take advantage of Khan’s wonderful secondary cast and give their characters their due. They do the most with the least or very little, which, in fairness, is to their credit. Yet, for their importance in Ilyas’ life, they are read as allegories when they should be read as people. Grant that “mustache” is his story and not his. Grant also states that Hameed’s story informs Ilyas’s story and that Khan and Manji tease Hameed enough to justify a better development. Nevertheless, the “mustache” does its job. It gives Elias a catalyst for growth other than the cookie duster dangling under his nose, and the writing invites us to laugh with him, not at him because it’s one thing to laugh at and another to ridicule. We were all where Ilyas is. “Mustache” just provides a new context for “where”. [C+]
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