Ken Loach meets Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet in Dominic Savage's moving debut feature, Love + Hate. Set in an unnamed town in north west England, the Brit pic is a sensitive look at love across the racial divide as two star-crossed lovers find that the course of true love never runs true. Strong performances, an excellent indie soundtrack and superbly economical storytelling combine to make this one of the best British films of 2006.
On the surface, Naseema (newcomer Samina Awan) and Adam (Grange Hill alumnus Tom Hudson) are poles apart. She's a second generation British-Pakistani Muslim; he's a working class bigot whose extremist views are encouraged by his even more racist elder brother. But when their eyes meet across the rolls of wallpaper at the DIY shop where they work, a bigger emotion comes into play: L-O-V-E. Complicating matters are Naseema's bullying elder brother Yousif (Was Zakir) and Adam's "Paki"-baiting peer group. And complicating matter still further, Yousif himself is secretly seeing a local girl, Michelle (Nichola Burley), who also happens to work with both Naseema and Adam...
"SAVAGE PROVES HIMSELF ONE OF OUR MOST PROMISING FILMMAKERS"
Despite the plot contrivances (this is one town where everyone's paths will cross at some point), Love + Hate succeeds primarily because it's got a heart the size of Manchester. Director Dominic Savage proves himself to be one of our most promising new filmmakers, while Samina Awan delivers a wonderfully natural performance in the emotionally-wrought lead role. Nothing to hate here then, but plenty to love.