VOD film review: Honour
Ruby | On 18, Apr 2014
Director: Shan Khan
Cast: Paddy Considine, Aiysha Hart, Harvey Virdi, Faraz Ayub, Shubham Saraf, Nikesh Patel
Watch Honour online in the UK: TalkTalk TV / Eircom / Virgin Movies / EE / Sky Store
DVD release date: 28th April 2014
First time writer-director Shan Khan describes his first film (now in cinemas and on VOD) as encapsulating the themes of “love, honour, betrayal, revenge and family”. As its name suggests, Honour covers the sensitive subject of honour killings, which are thought to occur up to a dozen times in the UK each year.
The film, set in West London, follows Mona (newcomer Aiysha Hart), who plans to run away with her secret Punjabi boyfriend, Tanvir (Patel). And so an unnamed bounty hunter (Considine) is hired to find her; a white supremacist who specialises in finding Muslim women and returning them to their families, which seems somewhat contrary, but he gladly accepts the assignment.
The decision to make this a thriller rather than a more obvious drama is an ambitious one, but Honour sits somewhere between the two genres, making us crave more thrills and/or more dramatic pieces. The family dynamic might have benefitted from exploring characters more deeply; her brothers, Kasim (Ayub) and Adel (Saraf), appear to be less than conflicted over the fate of their sibling. Outlining her specific plans to the bounty hunter, Mona’s mother (Virdi) makes Tony Soprano look like a gentle giant.
But there is promising young talent coming out of this film. Honour is an especially good platform for rising star Aiysha Hart, whose performance impresses throughout.
Tackling such a difficult subject requires a lot of bottle, and despite the somewhat predictable plot, debut director Khan delivers some promising work, highlighting the plight of some 5,000 women and girls worldwide that are killed in the name of honour every year. As its name suggests, this is a daring thriller – and an honourable achievement.