Mischief Night (3 stars)

(15) 93min


Mischief Night falls on 4 November and is when the occult has traditionally been celebrated in Yorkshire and children are given carte blanche to play tricks on adults. Kimberly (Holly Kenny) doesn’t know who her father is and his identity is a dark secret. She asks her chainsmoking mother Tina (Kelli Hollis, on fiery form) ‘Am I a Paki?’ Kimberly strikes up a friendship with Asif (Qasim Akhtar) in the run up to Mischief Night, and with bold grit the odd couple unlock some surprising secrets.

Penny Woolcock (The Death of Klinghoffer, The Principles of Lust) deserves plaudits for bringing three-dimensional Asian characters to British cinema. For too long British Asian characters have been drowning in a pool of limp, predictable and vanilla-flavoured second-generation multi-cultural romances. Woolcock doesn’t pander to politically correct machinations and even the good guys like ex-convict Immie (Ramon Tikaram) are bewitchingly deceptive. Alas, the same cannot be said for their predictable white counterparts, which is the main flaw in an otherwise delicious and funny tale set in a cultural hotspot in Leeds. The magical realist world seen through the eyes of two kids is reminiscent of the narrative style used by Danny Boyle in Millions.

Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cineworld, Edinburgh

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