From watching this film and analysing all the points, I can see that Meera Syal has cleverly linked a 70's style to the modern society today. Especially for the groups of young girls, who at that age need to relate to something, and this was the very film, made for confused teenagers trying to search themselves. Like every nine year old Meena cant wait to grow up and break free from her parents, she does not want to eat chapattis and dhal, but wants fish and chips.
Being the only Punjabi family in Tollington her daily struggle for independence is different from most. She then wants to roam the back yards of working class Tollington with feisty Anita Rutter and her gang. I think she has stressed on the fact how important it is not see the outside but the inside of a person, as there is the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". Meera shows us the insides of different cultures and how difficult it can be for one who may feel and be treated like an outsider.
I think the crucial ingredient is Meena's relationship with Anita a local white girl, slim and hip, vicious of nature and owner of a dog-called Nigger. You can already see the most vivid example of racisms, by the name of the dog, which is named in the film by Anita's mother, and a 'toy' she has brought for Anita's younger sister. Again a family is portrayed as being slack and not worthy enough, but who have a clean heart and try to get through.
A good way of bringing different cultures and classes within the film, she has not only concentrated on upper class, or the middle class striving to be the upper class, but also bought the common working class out who you would more likely to see in a village like Tollington, to make it seem more real. I think the best friend, best enemy story has been done many times before, but this has other angles of interests in it. Meera Syal uses the representative stereotypes of the characters so the audience feel connected with them and can relate to all the characters.
This is where the relation of Asian groups, younger teenage girls and older women may feel associated with all the issues that occur in the film. The teenage Asian girl who the film is revolved around is Meena, she wants to be like Anita, wants to fit in and feel embarrassed of her over-protective and suffocating parents who want her to study science and become a doctor, again a familiar stereotype, but of one people enjoy and want to see. Anita & Me show a clash between Eastern and Western cultures, and shows the difficulties and consequences some may have to put up with.
Another main example, which relates older women to this film, was the old grandmother. The grandmother acts as the Fairy godmother in some ways, someone nice and wise who you may meet in a fairytale, although she's much elder and expected to add to the embarrassment she becomes a safety blanket for Meena and someone she relies on and can talk to. This is where elder women can see themselves communicating with their children or grandchildren in particular attention to help them strive through life.
This was a very perceptive and funny film, the humour added to the film, which showed the simple story of the path from innocence to experience. Here's where groups of girls can initiate to, tragedies that occur in life such as death, love, jealousy, rivalry and betrayal all add to the modern day fable of life for most British Asians. I also believe that Meera Syal has decorated the factor that most British Asians have either been through or do go through today.
There key aspects mentioned within the film that can happen to anyone, and we can all relate to. For example the Auntie Sheila, who is Meera herself acts as a close friend to Meena's mother and has two twins of her own the competition is blatant between the mothers, who actually want best for their children but show it in such a way that seems over powering, for example when Meena's results are coming through the post for her entering the Grammar school.
Although the audience know that Meena was more pleased to receive the letter from Jackie magazine telling her, her story will be entered in the next issue. These are some of the concepts that help the audience to realise how that generation may think. Again this can recount back to the main title, that you cannot judge people in groups, everybody is an individual no matter how much pressure you can put on some ones life on becoming a traditional doctor or lawyer, they will be what they want, in Meena's case a writer.
This film was quite engaging, it involved elements of happiness and sadness which came in the parents life, for example when the mother remembers her past and her life in India, and for Meena when she gets angry at the fact her best friend was involved in the murder or the Asian motorway worker. That itself was a main part of the film, because it firstly showed the intensity of the relation made by Meena's parents and the Asian motorway worker, in matter of a few days. That is showing the cultural side of things for Asians, and then for the white guy Anita met at the fair they got together and were involved in what is a serious murder.
I think that could have been more stressed on, there was nothing showed of that after, expect for the feelings Meena had for Anita. But nothing was blamed on the boys who did it, and perhaps the younger generation could easily be influenced in believing that what happened was acceptable in some form. Perhaps this movie has confined the small details of what used to happen in the 70's, the Asian lifestyle, how Asians were treated back then in Britain.
The crash course in Asian/Brummie culture was moving and packed full of wonderful surprises, e. g. he old lady owning the shop, who we all meet sometime in our lives allowing only 1child at each time, and the secret Den in the forbidden jungle where the Yeti lived? This film was the sort where the audience longs to be a child again, yet grateful to have grown up, Meera has made a good effort with warmth and fun to create a film showing a classic childhood caught between two cultures, each on the brink of change. This is also where individuality comes in, where groups should not be judged and stereotyped because some things may just be for the best.