British cinema is still predominately a white preserve, both in-front and behind the camera. Whilst there are occasionally films which showcase Black talent and delve into urban culture, Asian directors, writers and producers rarely get a look-in. The Conversation is that rare film which despite the co-writers and co-directors being British-Pakistani and black-British, the themes it tackles are universal.
Al (Haider Zafar) is a dentists and struggling stand-up comic whose life is turned on its head when he meets the girl of his dreams (Daniella Down). However, good things don’t always last forever, and when she ends the relationship his mental states spirals out of control. Al’s coping mechanism is to replay events from the relationship and try to figure out what is wrong with him. This takes many odd and bizarre forms.
Both Zafar and fellow writer/director Marcus Flemming deserve credit for approaching the subject in such a unique way. They make the best use of a very low budget to tell the story of a relationship from many different angles. The price you pay is that so much jumping around can occasionally make it difficult to follow. The Conversations is an intriguing film which should be applauded for its ingenuity and innovation despite not always quite pulling it off.
The Conversations is available on Amazon Prime in the UK & US from Wednesday.