Mischief Night Review

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Old schoolmates meet up again and their two families (one white and the other of Asian sub-continent origin) intertwine on one festival night.


With its affectionate approach to its mischievous Northern working-class subjects, this is reminiscent of the TV series Shameless. Like Shameless, family ties are proved to be strong despite unruly children and exasperated parents (or often vice versa).

We follow Tina, who re-establishes her friendship with schoolmate Immie despite the racial divide in urban Leeds, and Immie’s dodgy brother Asif, who befriends Tina’s daughter and gets in trouble, with events coming to a head during the local tradition of ’Mischief Night’. East Is East blended comedy and drama more effectively, but excellent leads Ramon Tikaram and Kelli Hollis still make this one of British cinema’s better recent offerings.

While not as confident as TV’s similarly-themed Shameless, Mischief Night is a gritty, amusing Brit flick whose flaws are relatively easy to overlook in the face of its spirit and humour.