In writer-director Clio Barnard’s Bradford love story, Adeel Akhtar plays Ali, a homeowner turned DJ who spends his days “walking around” an impoverished suburban estate. local to collect rent from his tenants, but also because this is not a Ken Loach movie – fix their kitchen cabinets, Kevin Maher said Time. Ali even drove the children of his tenants to school, if he wasn’t too busy lounging alone in the parking lot.
When he forms a relationship with widowed teaching assistant Ava (Claire Rushbrook), it seems impossible on the surface. Although Ali’s marriage to his wife (Ellora Torchia) has broken down, they still live together and have not told the Anglo-Pakistani family. Meanwhile, Ava’s unreasonably angry son (Shaun Thomas) is horrified by her attraction to Ali. But while racism is never far from the surface, Barnard doesn’t place much emphasis on bigotry or violence: her films are ultimately upbeat.
Beth Webb said it wasn’t quite sunny during Empire; on the contrary, there are times when it seems unnecessarily bleak. But it finds a “surprising, dazzling” beauty in the couple’s willingness to broaden their cultural horizons and in their shared love of music. It’s a gripping film, aided by the chemistry between Akhtar and Rushbrook, that feels effortless and “absolutely captivating”.
Celebrate more than Barnard’s 2013 film Very selfish personbut with some of its “poetry”, Ali & Ava Mark Kermode says in The Observer. Based on real-life characters, the film “uses the transcendent power of song to turn a street story into an energetic musical, with truly surprising results”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/film/956044/film-review-ali-ava Movie Review: Ali & Ava