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The Buddha of Suburbia

Various , Various    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Buddha of Suburbia, The (1993) (DVD)

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars - four hours went by too fast! March 16 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This movie (miniseries, actually) remains on my top ten list of favorite films. The writing, the acting , the storyline, everything, just leaves me wanting to watch more (after four hours, that is saying a lot!). This film is inventive and captivating without a lot of special effects or high budget - it is just good. The basis of the story is the coming of age in 1960's London, of Kareem, (played by Naveen Andrews, from the English Patient) who is the son of and Englishwoman and Indian man. His place in English culture, in Indian culture, among his respective extended families on each side, as well as his place in life - exploring his career options, his [body], etc. - make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This movie is very entertaining and quite funny, especially when Kareem's ... father decides to jump on the East-West Hindu yoga and spirituality bandwagon of the sixties to make money. I just cannot describe all of the amusing and touching scenes from this film that make it such a gem. Very well made, and it has a very good soundtrack as well, featuring some good David Bowie songs. This film is a must-see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddha of Erotica Feb. 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Wonderful BBC film adaptation of the Hanif Kureishi novel of the same name. The translation to the small screen worked well primarily because Kureishi himself co-wrote the screenplay.
A satirical witty look at bi-racial issues in the teeming London (and its suburbs) of the 1970's. The film is unexperimental on a cinematographic level but carried brilliantly by a well writen screenplay and superior acting.
Narrated from the perspective of a selfish young man, this is on the surface a tale of a suburban London youth trying to get laid and make it in the world.
Issues of family and commitment are looked at with a subtlety that is refreshing in a world of films that often try to beat you over the head with their moralizations.
Karim is confussed about the world around him (as young people all are) and trying to balance loyalty to his quirky family with the duality of his racially mixed background. All of this is set upon a backdrop of a young man trying to find sex and excitement and his place in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kureshi is spectacular! Oct. 11 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Hanif Kureshi is one of the best contemporary authors on the shelf. the BBC's interpretation of his book does him justice! Buy it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars - four hours went by too fast! March 16 2003
By Kasey M. Moctezuma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
This movie (miniseries, actually) remains on my top ten list of favorite films. The writing, the acting , the storyline, everything, just leaves me wanting to watch more (after four hours, that is saying a lot!). This film is inventive and captivating without a lot of special effects or high budget - it is just good. The basis of the story is the coming of age in 1960's London, of Kareem, (played by Naveen Andrews, from the English Patient) who is the son of and Englishwoman and Indian man. His place in English culture, in Indian culture, among his respective extended families on each side, as well as his place in life - exploring his career options, his [body], etc. - make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This movie is very entertaining and quite funny, especially when Kareem's ... father decides to jump on the East-West Hindu yoga and spirituality bandwagon of the sixties to make money. I just cannot describe all of the amusing and touching scenes from this film that make it such a gem. Very well made, and it has a very good soundtrack as well, featuring some good David Bowie songs. This film is a must-see.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddha of Erotica Feb. 10 2002
By "umd_cyberpunk" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Wonderful BBC film adaptation of the Hanif Kureishi novel of the same name. The translation to the small screen worked well primarily because Kureishi himself co-wrote the screenplay.
A satirical witty look at bi-racial issues in the teeming London (and its suburbs) of the 1970's. The film is unexperimental on a cinematographic level but carried brilliantly by a well writen screenplay and superior acting.
Narrated from the perspective of a selfish young man, this is on the surface a tale of a suburban London youth trying to get laid and make it in the world.
Issues of family and commitment are looked at with a subtlety that is refreshing in a world of films that often try to beat you over the head with their moralizations.
Karim is confussed about the world around him (as young people all are) and trying to balance loyalty to his quirky family with the duality of his racially mixed background. All of this is set upon a backdrop of a young man trying to find sex and excitement and his place in the world.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie June 23 1999
By MarcG - Published on Amazon.com
I loved it. Fantastic attention to detail with its 70's setting (Walnut Whip package, teenager room walls, the cars...) Humorous. Insightful, enlightening. Lovely how this care free-drifter type grows assertive and aimful after finding his niche in life. There is more to this movie then what is visually presented to you. Seemingly dynamic main character. I was sad when it was over, only because there wasn't a third tape to put in.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Naveen Andrews almost ruins it Dec 14 2009
By ZAPMAMA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As a great fan of the novel, it's difficult for me to understand such rave reviews of Naveen Andrews in the role of Karim. He almost ruined this series for me, and his range of expression is limited to three expressions: smug arrogance, self-pitying puppy-dog-eyed loser, and insipid smirk. He is surrounded by amazing talent, especially the actors who play his father, his cousin, and his cousin's wife Changez. The rest of the production is mostly well-done, from setting the scene in 1970s England and portraying the political issues of the time, to creating a believable relationship between Karim's father and his wife and mistress Eva. The fact that Andrews neither looks remotely like the actor playing his father, nor is he biracial, irksomely detracts from the realism of the inner conflict about his identity. Brenda Blethyn plays her typical shuddering, insecure and repressed working-class Brit and is annoying as ever. Watch if you love the novel and for the overall quality of the production, but mindful of the fact that the casting and direction has let the novel down on several key characters.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diversity and integration are one sole struggle Oct. 27 2008
By Jacques COULARDEAU - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A surprising series from the BBC that comes to us from the rather distant time of 1993, but that speaks of the 1970s, the time of punk and the beginning of Margaret Thatcher who was already out when the mini series was produced. And they bring it out in 2007 in the DVD format. At last some may say. These time lags are very interesting because the meaning of the story is completely different according to the time you stand in. At the time of the arrival of Margaret Thatcher, the National Front was a real danger, and the mini-series shows it quite well and it is Margaret Thatcher who thwarted this National Front's ambition completely and utterly by recuperating their votes. It was a time when the left thought along the narrow line of an old model, that of the communist inspired unions, particularly the mineworkers' union, and of the Labor left of Tony Benn, the aristocrat turned a strict socialist. And they needed to be woken up to reality and they were by Margaret Thatcher again. They had to realize the old more or less violent and always intimidating methods were wrong and that the system of the free market economy was not collapsing at all because market economy was not, still is not and will certainly not be collapsing, even if its management is changing and will be changing maybe towards a more controlled, smooth and just functioning. The film looks at the extremely crucial issue of the time: the integration of the massive immigration from South Asia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. It considers this movement from a mixed point of view. First of all the point of view of the immigrants themselves, and particularly one young man who is the son of an Indian man and an English woman. His vision is always divided because he is mixing with people from both communities. It shows both his very Indian approach of personal relations that takes sex for what it is, nothing much except some kind of relaxing way of meeting with other people. Then the orientation is not important at all. But at the same time he desires some deep sentimental and emotional commitment and that runs in conflict with the English approach of things that more or less considers commitment like a downfall, a fault, a flaw in the free texture of life at the time. Since he is not an opportunist he ends up stepping out of a group in which sex was some kind of payment for a career, and since his profession is acting, that leads him to some kind of rather aloof position though all the more chased after because he appears hard to catch. At the same time we have the point of view of the white actors and directors who want to give Indians their chance to be well represented on the stage but then these Indians run into the African blacks who do not have the Indian distantiation (the Blacks are not beige enough as this young man says) and who consider a humorous discourse about Indian immigrants to be yielding to the white representation a society they essentially see as racist is imposing onto them. If you add to that the punk music of one of these white friends of the main actor's you have the full picture. This punk movement was definitely on one hand an extreme and excessive denunciation of white fascism but it also led at the time to the antagonistic movement of the skinheads who were racist and violent. In other words that was a time when things were very volatile and changing too fast for anyone to know which way they were going. That was the time of the squatters and the Claimants' Union. Strangely enough though most of these claimants were whites who wanted to use the social protection that had been set up after the war and up to the end of the 60s to live in poor but decent conditions, with no regular profession but plenty of time to prop up all kinds of protest movements. I remember the squats of the White Chapel area and the punk concerts of the Marquee and the Roundhouse of these mid and late mid 70s. That was a time worth living and that is a time worth remembering. This miniseries gives us a fair picture of what could today inspire us slightly more: there is no future for any country and the people of those countries if there is not a fair dose of freedom, diversity and hard work.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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