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Whereas Hindi Cinema is neglected and British-Asian films are often frowned upon in this country, East Is East manages to break the mould with its genuinely entertaining blend of family comedy and tragedy.
Based on screenwriter Ayub Khan-Din's own upbringing, the story is centred around a Pakistani immigrant, George Khan (Om Puri), and his white-British wife, Ella (Linda Bassett), both of whom run a small fish-and-chips shop Salford, Greater Manchester.
George is a strict Muslim with seven children, and wishes his son, Nazir (Ian Aspinsall), the oldest of the group, to marry a woman he has never met. Nazir, however, ends up fleeing once he reaches the altar, much to the disapproval of his father, who decides then to disown him.
The next small episode of the film involves George discovering his youngest child, Sajid (Jordan Routledge), has somehow avoided circumcision (one of Islam's traditions). Teased by his brothers and sister about how painful the operation will be, Sajid covers his face with his fur-trimmed anorak, fearing embarrassment, and attempts to escape his father by hiding in various places all over the house.
For all George's attempts to instil Pakistani traditions, we also learn that his wife, Ella, is secretly helping the children cover up their "non-Islamic practices", such as when they choose to eat bacon sandwiches in the front room and have intimate relations with white people outside of the house.
It is the rebellious nature of the children and Ella's inability to stand up to George (despite loving him dearly), that present an interesting theme of the difficulties of assimilation within our society.
George wants his family to respect his cultural heritage, despite the fact that he's a hypocrite who left his first wife twenty-five years ago in Pakistan. As a result, he struggles to control his children as they grow older, become independent and adopt British values. Ella, whilst not necessarily against George, can see his firm stance is having a negative effect upon the children, and just wants them all to get along and be happy.
The conflict that arises from the family's tensions results in a endearing mixture of serious and not-so-serious moments in East Is East. Some allow us to ponder upon wider sociological issues, whereas others can just be enjoyed for their genuine humour. Either way, many viewers will find this film has something for them to relate to, regardless of their race or gender.
Full of powerful performances -- most particularly, Puri as George and Bassett as Ella, both of whom manage to humanize both characters brilliantly -- East Is East is fresh, inspiring, thought-provocative and enjoyable throughout.
Receiving an award for Best British Film, as well as fifteen others under various categories, including Best British Comedy and Best British Independent Film, consider this a real milestone in British cinema.
(C) Andy Carrington, 2011.
East is East, is a British drama/comedy. Directed by Damien O'Donnell, it is based on a family with a Pakistani, Muslim husband called George Khan played by Om Puri, and a British wife called Ella Khan played by Linda Bassett who has converted to Islam. As a comedy it is very funny with lots of funny scenes everyday people can relate to from the child hood and adult hood, such as your children showing you up, to your uncle wanting a kiss and hug in front of your friends.
As a drama it also has a powerful story line. The clash of cultures becomes apparent in the first scene with the Muslim children marching in a Christian festival, and trying to avoid there father seeing them.
George is a strict father and sends his children to a Muslim school to learn about there heritage and to learn to speak Arabic and read the Koran. However his children are reluctant to learn and want to be more British than Pakistani, and George starts to see his world crumble around him and the respect he demands from his children starting to fade.
This leads to him arranging for two of his sons to be married, however one of his sons Tariq Khan, does not agree to get married causing a very real scene of a family feud, leading to George realising his mistake. After his family turn against him for hitting his wife, he makes a change and this is symbolized in the end were he replies to a child that normally greats him in Arabic and he ignores the child. But in the end he greets the child back.
Overall this movie is a great comedy to add to your collection. It can be watched multiple times and still seems funnier every time you watch it.
East Is East is a 1999 BAFTA award-winning comedy-drama film directed by Damien O'Donnell and starring Om Puri, Linda Bassett & Ian Aspinall amongst others.
The storyline is based around George & Ella, husband & wife, who have been married from 25 years and have seven children together. At the start of the film we see their eldest son, Nazir, being matched up with a Pakistani girl but he does not want to go through with the marriage & does a runner at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. He brings shame to his family, as you would expect, and George disowns him from the family telling neighbours & relatives that his son is dead.
Next George discovers that his youngest son, Sajid, has not been circumcised and promptly arranges this but this causes friction between George & Ella and for the first time we see the torment that Ella must suffer wanting to do what's right by her husband, but also what is right for her children. She wants to stand up to her husband but she loves him dearly and doesn't want to upset him or risk their marriage.
While this part is happening George is presented with an opportunity by Mr. Shah, who has disgusting unattractive daughters, to arrange marriages with them to two of his sons, his second & third sons, Tariq & Abdul, but the arranged marriages angers Tariq who ends up destroying the items that fathers traditionally buy for their sons' weddings & when George finds out about this he ends up beating one of his sons for refusing to tell him who the culprit is but Ella decides to break it up and this is the first ever time that she has stood up to her husband and she explains to him how his ignorance has affected their children and George only pays attention to the insult pig that she said to him and he sees this as a huge insult to a Muslim man and he then badly beats his wife, causing his children to run away to the eldest son, Nazir, who has revealed himself as being gay and he then sends his siblings back to his parents but George feels like he has lost all control over his family and this makes him more angry and frustrated.
We then see both George & family, and Mr. Shah & family meet to discuss details of the arranged marriage with Mrs. Shah making digs and snipes at Ella & her children and she throws the Shah's out of her house which angers her husband even further and he then sets about beating her again but this time the children stand up to him and protect Ella whilst showing George that they are not afraid of him any longer. This leaves George a desolate man as he realises that he is no longer seen as the ruler of the family but the end of the film has a slightly unexpected ending with some parts left unsaid and some reconciliations dealt with.
The film shows quite Muslim based values and shows you how arranged marriages work in some of these circles of religion and it also shows you the trials and tribulations that may be suffered by the children who have the arranged marriages. The film has a very comedy feel to it throughout although there are some moments of drama such as the violence and how angry George can be. I thoroughly enjoy this film and have now seen it several times. It really is a very enjoyable film and the ending was one that surprised me when I first saw it although I was left a little disappointed at some of the aspects that were just left unsaid but I guess that this leaves areas for the viewer to just assume what they want to. The film is quite stereotypical and showed you Muslims how some people would have perceived them to be many years ago. Arranged marriages are something that happen culturally but some people believe them to be wrong and I felt that this film was trying to show you both sides of the story with the father feeling that his son has brought shame on the family and the mother trying to protect her children and ensure that they have choices in life. The real downside to this film was the violence involved in it but this is a reflection of married life for some couples so I feel it's an integral part of the film and not one that should have been removed.
The film runs for 96 minutes and this is just the right length to wrap up the storyline of the film without boring me.
The budget of this film was just £1,900,000 but it grossed over £10,000,000 in the UK in USA from cinema viewings alone.
The DVD is currently priced at £8.88 on Amazon.co.uk brand new or from just £4.00 + postage from the Amazon Marketplace.
I am rating this film 4/5 and would definitely recommend it as a funny watch, providing you don't mind a few slightly violent scenes and don't take things too seriously!
East is East is a hilarious comedy that is set in Salford in the 70's. The story is about a family who are stuck between two worlds and don't really fit in anywhere.
The father George (played by Om Puri) is a muslim from Pakistan who rules his household with a heeavy hand. He wants his family to be religious muslims and follow the path of islam even if they are not happy. His wife Ella (played by Linda Bassett) is white and wants all 7 of her kids to be accepted for who they are.
George wants to move to Bradford where there is a bigger asian community and after his eldest son Nazir runs out of his marriage because it is arranged and he has never seen his wife before, George deals with his kids even more firmly. He fixes 2 of his sons up with his friends daughters who look like monsters and it is absolutely hilarious when they come round to visit.
Underneath the humour eptance.
It has some big names in such as Om Puri, Jimi Mistry and Archie Punjabi. It does have somethough the film covers some serious issues such as love and acceptance. There is some bad language in it but that just adds to the film's originality.
East is East is a wonderful British comedy drama which focuses on the lives of a mixed muslim anglo family where the father is Pakistani and the mother English however the seven children have all been raised within the muslim religion. The family live in Salford and run a chip shop however the father George (Om Puri) dreams of moving his family to Bradford where there is a much bigger Asian community as in Salford his family are more of an oddity.
Om Puri ... George Khan
Linda Bassett ... Ella Khan
Jordan Routledge ... Sajid Khan
Archie Panjabi ... Meenah Khan
Emil Marwa ... Maneer Khan
Chris Bisson ... Saleem Khan
Jimi Mistry ... Tariq Khan
Raji James ... Abdul Khan
Ian Aspinall ... Nazir Khan
Lesley Nicol ... Auntie Annie
Emma Rydal ... Stella Moorhouse
Ruth Jones ... Peggy
Ben Keaton ... Priest
When his eldest son flees from his arranged marriage George is humiliated in the community and completely rejects the existence of his son, George rules the house with an iron will however his English wife Ella played by Linda Bassett is quite prepared to stand up to him.
Unknown to George all of his children are caught between the strict faith and the desire to lead a Western life hence his other two older sons sneak out at night and have white girlfriends.
There are some very funny moments in this film especially as the youngest son insists on wearing a parka coat with the hood up all the time like a South Park character, the scene at night when he goes to the loo in his parents bedroom is very funny.
This is an interesting look at a mixed Asian family in the 1970's with a backdrop being the racisit speeches by Enoch Powell providing a back ground to the whole story.
Definately worth seeing as there are some great performances and it is a very enjoyable film to watch with some nice touches to it.
East is East is a brilliantly funny British comedy about cultural differences. It also has quite a hard edge to it, being surprisingly harrowing in some places. Basically it brings concepts of racism, multi cultural society, cultural values, generational differences, parental respect, arranged marriages, and teenage hormones all together into a veritable melting pot of ideas. The acting is superb, the script very tight and lots of light hearted funny moments along with some darker moments. British films always manage to pull no punches with certain concept a lot better than their American sometimes "over fluffy and sugar coated" counterparts - and the fact that this movie could never have been made in America and retain the beauty it has here speaks absolute volumes. The British film Industry has some serious gems out there that we should pay more attention to and "East is East" is defnitely one of those movies. And the family dynamic is superbly amusing.
East Is East was released in 1999, and its a comedy movie. It is based on a play by Ayub Khan & directed by Damien 0'Donnell. The movie revolves around a Pakistani British Family.
Om Puri (As George Khan)
Linda Bassett (As Ella Khan)
Jordan Routledge (As Sajid Khan)
Raji James (As Abdul Khan)
Chris Bisson (As Saleem Khan)
Emil Marwah (As Maneer Khan)
Jimi Mistry (As Tariq Khan)
Ian Aspinall (As Nazir Khan)
Archie Panjabi (Meenah Khan)
Lesley Nicol (Aunty Annie)
The movie is set in 1970's, George Khan who is settled in Salford near Manchester and is married to a British Woman Ella, they have seven chikdren(Six Boys & One Girl), George & Ella runs a Fish & Chips shop near thier house. Annie laso helps Ella as she is Ella's friend. George is very dominating & wants everyone to live the life as he wants them to live. George is Pakistani & he came to England in 1937. Ella is george's second wife, his first wife is back in Pakistan.
George is proud of Pakistan & Islam, he wants them to follow Islam properly. And he Belives that what ever your father & husband says you should so as said to you.
Everyone in the house is Frighten of George, but do every other thing behind his back, they hate thier father so much, that becuase of these they hate all Pakistani's & Dont follow Islam as well. They Drink & Eat Bacon's which is not allowed in Islam. Ella on the other hands says that they should know thier religion but should not be tortured for that and thier children should be bought up in a more Modern way. but listing this george threats to Ella that he will call his first wife from Pakistan. But she knows that he wont do any such thing as Ella owns the chips shop and the house.
Nazir is the eldest son of George, he fixes Nazirs marriage to another Pakistani girl living in UK. But he dont ask his son about this he just orders him that he has to marry this girl, but Nazir runs away on his wedding day. After this george's disowned his son ans days that he is dead for them now. But Ella is in conatct with Nazir later on as well and wants him to be happy always. Maneer is another sons who listen to his father and following Islam properly but George is not happy with him. Abdul work as a mechanic, and always tries that his father is happy with them but George's thinks they are all useless. He swears at every one.
Sajid is the youngest of all, and he is quite funny too, everyone targets him & bullys him in the whole movie. Meenah is the only daughter, but she dont behave like one, she is more of a guy and like to paly football with the childrens.
Tariq is more of a play boy, he likes to party, he goes to disco at night after his parents go to sleep., he enjoys the life to fullest and is having an affair with a girl who lives in his Nieghbourhood. Saleem is another son who George think is doing Engg, but he is pusruing a career in Arts and Ella Supports Saleem in every possible way.
George now decides to marry Tariq & Abdul to pakistani girls who are daughter of george's friends, Friend who lives in Bradford. And he fix the marriage and tell Ella about it, but tells her not to tell any of the son untill he says. Because he wants them to do what he wants. The girl he choose for them are very Ugly. What happens further can be find out by watching the movie.
My Analysis :
It is a good simple comedy movie, which makes you laugh at most of the places, The way it shows about a father who is strict and dont understand his children.
The movie has so many issues in it from Issue of Race, Domestic VIolence. Altough i know a lot of bad critics have been pointed out about this movie being Anti-Pakistani & Anti - Islam. But it shows particularly about one person and not the whole country & Religion. For me i loved this movie.
Performances by everyone has been brilliant, The children character done by everyone is simply superb.
Linda Bassett have done a great job of potraing the character of being a wife to Pakistani man. but the person to watch out is Om Puri what a performance from this guy, the way he speak English makes you laugh. He has potrayed the character brialliantly.
Director Damien has done a good job, and has directed this movie really well.
Over all its a good movie to watch and i'm, sure you will enjoy it.
You can get this movie at Amazon from £6.
I have this review on Ciao as well
George Khan leaves his native Pakistan, settles in the north of England just before the Second World War and marries an English woman, Ella. Many years later, the couple are still happily married and have six sons and a daughter. But whereas George tries to bring his family up to be good Muslims, they have other ideas, choosing to embrace the freedom that is open to their friends. When George tries to arrange a marriage for his eldest son, he flees on his wedding day, after which he is classed as dead to George. Then the battle to marry off two of his other sons begins. Will he be successful? Or will his wife and children finally be able to lead the lives they chose?
There is a whole wealth of British Asian talent in this film and I spent the first half people spotting, recognising faces from The Bill, Casualty, Coronation Street and Eastenders. Jimi Mistry, who plays the most rebellious of the Khan sons, Tariq, is probably the most famous, after having made his name in Eastenders. The role of Tariq is probably the most prominent in the film - he certainly has the juiciest lines and his face, when trying to cope with his father's parental control, is a picture. Abdul is played by Raji James (Ash from Eastenders) and at first is a direct contrast to Tariq, choosing to obey his father. However, when the crunch comes, he show that there is more to him than meets the eye, and Raji James gives a really good performance.
Chris Bisson as Saleem is another familiar face - he played Vikram Desai in Coronation Street, and so is Ian Aspinall as Nazir (Mubbs from Holby City. Both are good, although they don't have quite as much gritty dialogue as Tariq and Abdul. Chris Bisson in particular is very well cast - he has a very appealing face that I find very attractive, and is perfect for the rather cheeky little sod that he plays. There is even a brief performance by Jimmi Harkishin, who plays Dev in Coronation Street. The fact that there are so many actors in the film means that there is little character development, which I would usually see as a disadvantage. In this case though, I don't think it matters.
George Khan is played by Om Puri, an Indian actor about whom I have heard great things, although I haven't really seen him in much before. He gives a really brilliant performance as a father determined that his children will grow up to be good Muslims, even though he himself didn't marry into Islam. Linda Bassett also gives a sterling performance as Ella, who is determined that her children will be happy, even if it means going against her husband. She clearly loves George, but her hurt and confusion at what he is doing to her children comes clearly through in her face. Fantastic.
This film is a very interesting look at the difficulties imposed by settling in a foreign country and adapting, or not as the case here is, to a society where life is not as tightly regulated as you may want it to be. For George's children, this obviously causes all sorts of dilemmas. They want to please their father, but at the same time, they have grown up surrounded by Englishness and are desperate for a good time with their friends. Having myself lived abroad for a number of years, I could relate to their issues and thought that the writer, Ayub Khan-Din, and the director, Damien O'Donnell, dealt with them very well.
Although racism is not really dealt with in the film - this is about the Khan family and their relationship rather than the position of the Khans in society - there is one recurring reminder that not everyone is accepting of 'foreigners'. This is Enoch Powell's face on posters, put up all over the town. For those of you who don't know, Enoch Powell is well known for his far right views on immigration. At one point, one of the Khans, the only daughter, kicks a football straight through a window into Enoch Powell's face - a nice touch, I thought, and very to the point.
Despite the subject matter, this is a funny film. The Khan children are full of the joys of life and get into all sorts of scrapes behind their father's back. Ella brings a great deal of good old northeast English humour to the film in the way that she deals with her husband. It is perhaps this very humour that some have found insulting to Islam - I can't say that I found it so, but then I am not religious - I suppose the only way to deal with this is to avoid watching if you think you will be upset. There is a great deal of swearing, which may also offend some, as well as the odd bit of wife beating - again, if you are concerned about any of this, then stay well clear.
I really enjoyed this film. I thought the multicultural issues were dealt with really well; I certainly felt very deeply for the characters involved and really wanted things to work out for them. Obviously if any of the content I have mentioned is likely to offend, then you should probably stay away from this film, but otherwise, I think most people will find something to enjoy in it. Highly recommended.
The DVD is available from play.com for £5.99.
Running time: 95 minutes
I watched this last night and had to write about it as I still found it as hillarious as the first time I watched it almost 10 years ago.!
East is East was produced in 1999. It was directed by Damien O Donnell and stars Om Puri as George Khan, a Pakistani man now living in Britain with his wife ( Linda Bassett) and children.
The film stars a host of actors from popular soaps such a corrie and eastenders, such as Chris Bisson.
Set in the 1970's it shows the difficulties for a British/ Muslim family . George Khan is a very proud pakistani man, he owns a chipshop and treats his wife and kids like his slaves.
As the kids are growing up they begin to rebel against their overly-strict father and when two of the sons discover they are going to be forced into an arranged marriage, tensions run high and family life finally grinds to a halt.
This film may be getting old now, however it is still entertaining with an underlying feeling of pity and sorrow for any family stuck in this situation.
I would watch this film over and over again and recommend it to anyone with a sense of humour.
92 mins long
Now available from Amazon for roughly £5.
It is the early 1970's, George Khan (Om Puri)is a man who is proud of his Pakistani heritage. He moved to Salford near Manchester where he married a local woman, Ella (Linda Bassett), had seven children and opened a chip shop. George demands to be seen as the head of the family and rules them with a rod of iron, as he wants them to be as respectable and as proud of their race as he is. There is one flaw in his masterplan....he is a hypocritical bully, and his children are rebelling against his regime one by one. They are sick of being cramped in their small terraced house which could hardly be described as having all mod cons, and have found their own individual ways to get under their fathers skin. We soon find out that Ella is not George's only wife, he also had an arranged marriage with a girl in Pakistan. George is determined to instill his culture into his children, whilst Ella believes that although they should know their culture and heritage, they should be brought up in a more traditional Western way. When this annoys George, he always threatens Ella that he will call his first wife and bring her over from Pakistan, but Ella is quietly determined, and knows that George would lose too much if he ever left her, especially as she owns his beloved chip shop. The mixed race marriage, and the battle for power has left his children pretty confused. Nazir (Ian Aspinall) is the eldest son, and George has arranged his marriage in accordance with Pakistani tradition. Nazir goes along with the idea, until his wedding day, when he runs away. In typical fashion, George disowns him, but Ella has regular contact with him. Determined to try and please his father Abdul (Raji James) tries harder than normal to keep on his right side, but Abdul gets a break from the family tensions as he works as a mechanic, and no matter how hard the sons try, George is never satisfied, which is something Maneer (Emil Marwa) knows too well. He is the model Pakistani s
on, refusing to eat pork, not drinking alcohol, and praying numerous times every day, but George still is not happy with him. The youngest son, and the most hilarious is Sajid (Jordan Routledge). He is the target for his brothers and sisters to pick on, and they have plenty of ammunition, as he never washes and is permanently wearing his green parka with the hood up! After attending Arabic classes forced on him by his father, the other children notice that he has not been circumcised. You may wonder how they saw....well he was peeing up a wall at the time! George is furious that this shame has been brought on his family, and the now infamous 'tickle tackle' scene ensues...watch out for it! The only daughter is Meenah (Archie Panjabi), and not surprisingly with all of the testosterone flying around, she is a tomboy, and would much rather be playing football than dressing up in a sari. Tariq (Jimi Mistry) is the casanova of the family. He loves the nightlife in Salford, and loves the white English girls who frequent them. His father hates the fact that Tariq does not fully embrace the Islamic religion, but when you look a bit deeper, Tariq is the person most like his father, although it is not obvious at first. Saleem (Chris Bisson) is another son who is living a different life to the one he tells his father. George is proud that he is studying engineering, but he is actually at art school, and is supported financially by Ella. In the 1970's, there were more people who were openly racist, and The Khans have to deal with many neighbours who object to them living in their predominantly white neighbourhood, especially the distasteful Mr Moorhouse (Josh Barden) who will take any opportunity he can to discredit the family, and fill people's mind with his racist nonsense, whilst being oblivious to the fact his own grandson is in love with Meenah, and is one of the few people who can communicate with Sajid, and if that was not enoug
h to devastate him, his seemingly angelic daughter Stella (Emma Rydal) is going out with Tariq, and they are well past the holding hands stage, although unknown to them, Tariq and Abdul are next in line to have arranged marriages, and the two women their father picks for them are, um, interesting, and if they auditioned for Cinderella's ugly sisters they would be runaway winners! Again, George's plans are scuppered, with some humourous but also some quite disturbing events. Enough of the plot, just watch it! The film is quite brave in the way it has approached the issue of race, and for some people it will be uncomfortable viewing, as there are many jokes made at the expensive of Pakistani characters, but they are funny, and it is more of a mickey take than a full on humiliation. There is quite a bit of swearing, and some violence, so I would agree with the 15 certificate. It does what it says on the tin...it is extremely funny, and the cast work really well together. They do a brilliant job of bringing the film to life, and for Jimi Mistry, it was the springboard to Hollywood, and films such as 'The Guru', however Chris Bisson was not so lucky, for him it was the springboard to the jungle and Anthony Worral Thompson. This is a FilmFour production, and it is nice to see a British film doing so well, and also a debut director in the form of Damien O Donnell. I have a Region 2 widescreen version, and the DVD extras are pretty standard, but nothing mindblowing: Theatrical Trailer - See what attracted the cinema audiences Deleted Scenes - Normally these are quite humourous, but these were deleted because they were not that good! Director's commentary - Standard points about the film as it was made. Cast & Crew Interviews - Individual takes on the film and the process of getting it to the big screen. Behind The Scenes Footage - Pretty standard look at the film from the behind the scenes. <
br> TV Ads- Again, see what made people flock to the cinema Audio Description for The visually impaired - Always a welcome extra I think, and something more DVD's should include The film is excellent, and contrary to many reviews I have read, it is funny, but it also makes you think hard, and one I never tire of watching, but if you already have it on video, then the DVD is probably not worth splashing out any extra for, although places like Asda sometimes have this on offer for £4.99, and for that price you cannot go wrong.
East is East is set in 1971 in the city of Manchester. The story is set around the Khan family, the father of this family, George Khan (Om Puri) is a Pakistani and is married to Ella (Linda Bassett.) Along with there seven children, aged between 13 and 24. The family run the local fish and chip shop in their working class neighbourhood. Although the family seem well balanced they are not, their father wants all of the children to be raised as he was, a strict Muslim Pakistani but Ella wants them to be raised as English Catholic children. The children soon rebel against their fathers wishes, Nazir(Ian Aspinall)runs away from his wedding disgracing his father so that he disowns Nazir, claiming he is dead. Meenah (Archie Panjabi) who goes against her fathers beliefs and eats pork, Saleem (Chris Bisson) enrols in art college instead of starting a career in engineering, Sajid (Jordan Routledge) isn’t circumcised and Tariq (Jimi Mistry) is dating an English girl and goes out at night to clubs. In the end George decides to teach his family a lesson so he decides to enter two of his sons, Tariq and Abdul (Raji James) into the Muslim community as he arranges marriages for the two. When the brothers find out their dads plan, Tariq runs away to see his elder brother, Nazir with Meenah, Saleem and his girlfriend and her best friend. Overall I think that East is East is really good film. The acting is superb, Ohm Purim helps give a somewhat human dimension to the character of George Khan as he moves swiftly from one emotion to the next be it anger, happiness of sadness which result in you feeling sorry for his character in the end. The rest of the cast are also great, showing real emotion as each character which helps you make the family seem real in some what abnormal situations. The screenplay is also grade a quality, mixing hilarious one lines with drama. And the interesting camera angles are used sparingl
y thoughout. The direction also adds to the authenticity of the film, giving it a real 1971 feel. The only thing that I did not like was the trailer as it make the film seem like it was a laugh a minute, which it is not. The film is really about the Khan family and there troubled journey though religion and loyalty in there everyday lives. I recommend this film to all.
If you see the advert for East is East before you see the film you will have very different expectations of the film than what it actually is. The advert defintely makes the film seems like a raunchy, asian family comedy, but you will be totally surprised when you see the film for the first time because it is so much more than that. George Khan, a strict Muslim Pakistani is married to Ella a catholic English woman. They have been together for 25 years and live in a white, catholic neighbourhood. Together they have had 7 children. 6 boys, Tariq, Abdul, Maneer, Sajid, Saleem and Nazir and one girl Meenah. The film opens with Nazir's wedding day, an arranged marriage set up by his father, however Nazir can't handle it and runs off. His father disowns him claiming he is dead. 6 months later and George is worried about his family showing him up in the Muslim community. All the children, except Maneer who follows the religion don't like going to the mosque break their fathers rules, e.g Saleem is doing art at college instead of enginering, Tariq is dating an english girl and goes to clubs at night and Sajid isn't circumcised. To make his sons members of the Muslim community he arranges for Tariq and Abdul to be married, when they find out Tariq goes mad and he runs away to see Nazir with Meenah, Saleem. East Is East is, to me a film about family and the race is just an added thing the family has to deal with. George is the personification of someone the strictest parents ever known and Ella is the level headed one who loves her husband and her kids but is caught in the middle. I think for this film to work, especially the ending you have to feel sorry for George's character. I think he was probably raised in a strict way and finds it hard to cope being cut off from the Pakistani community. I also think that George desperately wants to be accepted by the Musilm community and this drives him to be strict. I think that he really loves E
lla and his children, although he sometimes goes to far. The children are having are reluctantly going along with their fathers wishes although they percieve themselves as English. What is good about this film is that is mixes serious issues with humour and one liners. The characters themselves all have their own little stories and even though there isn't much room to develop all the childrens identities because there are so many we get to know them well and sympathise with them. Damien O'Donnell has done a good job creating the film and making the setting look just as it should be and also in the right era(1971). This is a good film and well worth the watch.
Very funny - I had forgotten how funny this was since watching it at the flicks. The story is original and acting superb! Very funny - I had forgotten how funny this was since watching it at the flicks. The story is original and acting superb! Very funny - I had forgotten how funny this was since watching it at the flicks. The story is original and acting superb! Very funny - I had forgotten how funny this was since watching it at the flicks. The story is original and acting superb!
East is East is a wonderfully simple comedy indirectly dealing with serious issues. Based on the play by Ayub Khan-Din (who also wrote the screenplay) it was made in 1999 and directed by Damien O'Donnell in only his second major film as director. CAST: Om Puri as George Khan Linda Bassett as Ella Khan Jordan Routledge as Sajid Khan Archie Panjabi as Meenah Khan Emil Marwa as Maneer Khan Chris Bisson as Saleem Khan Jimi Mistry as Tariq Khan Raji James as Abdul Khan Ian Aspinall as Nazir Khan Lesley Nicol as Auntie Annie Emma Rydal as Stella Moorhouse Ruth Jones as Peggy Ben Keaton as Priest Kriss Dosanjh as Poppa Khalid John Bardon as Mr. Moorhouse THE STORY George (Om Puri) is the Pakistani father and Ella (Linda Bassett) the white English mother of a family living in Salford in the early 70's. Ella has accepted the Islamic way of life as far as she is allowed to. They have seven children; Sajid (Jordan Routledge), Meenah (Archie Panjabi), Maneer (Emil Marwa), Saleem (Chris Bisson), Abdul (Raji James), Tariq (Jimi Mistry), and Nazir (Ian Aspinall) who have been brought up within the Muslim culture. The problems of living in a multicultural society begin to surface as some of the children do not see themselves as Pakistani less so Muslim. This inevitably leads to tension within the family as the father tries to impress his beliefs by arranging marriages for the three eldest sons. It all ends in comic disaster and confrontation as the children rebel and finally George has to try and come to term with events. The film starts off with the eldest son’s marriage ceremony, which has to be abandoned at the last moment because the groom decides he can’t go through with it. He runs away from home only keeping in touch secretly with his mother and siblings. The father, George is so angered by this perceived lack of respect for his authority t
hat he disowns him and even denies his existence. The film carries on through a series of ridiculous scenes- the circumcision of the youngest boy, Sajid, the attempted arranged marriages of two of the other boys, and the hilarious meeting with the prospective in laws, - we discover the constant struggle that George has, to justify his past actions to himself and his culture. He feels that despite having married an English woman he is still a good Pakistani, and that he has brought up is family within that tradition, but at a deeper level he also feels some shame for what he has done and has to act even more correctly within the faith to make amends for this. THEMES The obvious theme of the film is that of race and the idea of what it means to belong to a particular ethnic community. There are many contradictions that the Khan children, especially have to deal with. They are told by their overbearing father about the importance of tradition and their identities as Muslims but their own mother is white and English and however hard she tries she is not a fully accepted member of the community. They have all been brought up as strict Muslims but inevitably they enjoy more western influences in their lives, they drink go to discos and the daughter loves playing football, all of which they have to keep from the father. The character of the father is the focus of the whole film, he is not seen in a kind light being portrayed as a tyrant who will resort to violence on his children and his wife to secure the outcome he desires to any situation and yet we do feel a certain amount of sympathy for him as we can clearly see how he as struggled and completely failed to come to terms with his family growing up in Britain. He doesn’t understand his children’s motivations for wanting something more out of life than the (from their point of view) narrow existence mapped out for them by tradition culture and faith. He sees all their act
ions as a direct attack or criticism of his beliefs. George is made even more complex as a character by the fact that although he believes firmly in his cultural tradition he has married a white English woman and thus is at odds with his own wishes for his children. In the end we see him not as a bad man but certainly very confused in his perception of what is best for his family. In my opinion the examination of this inner turmoil in the George character is the strongest element in the film. The film touches on wider undercurrents of racial tension as we see some of the neighbours handing out leaflets supporting the extreme views of politicians of the day, such as Enoch Powell, about repatriation, but this is never developed any reference to racism are kept in the background. We are also presented with a gay Asian character but the attitude towards gays of the Islamic community is never addressed. HOW GOOD IS IT? At the beginning of this review I sated that this was basically a simple comedy and this is both the film’s advantage and its weakness. ‘East is East’ can be approached as a film attempting to make serious points about racism and racial attitudes in the UK but if you do this then you will find the film lacking in substance. The racial themes are present but are merely a backdrop, to a pure comic drama. The issue of repatriation is mentioned as it was a major talking point in the late 60’s early 70’s (as it is now with regards to asylum seekers) but it is never dealt with beyond this, again as something going on in the background that really doesn’t directly affect any of the main characters. In fact the focus of the film seems to revolve around the dynamics of the family irrespective of outside influences. The acting is first rate especially by Om Puri as the father and Linda Bassett as his wife. The film's 70's look is convincing and you can clearly see a lot of effort ha
s been made to get the details right, although I wonder if the dated setting was necessary. I’m still not sure why they decided to set it in the 70’s, it does give it a nostalgic feel but in the end you feel the director didn’t make the most of it and it was more trouble that it was worth. Taking in to account the themes in the story I'm sure a similar story could be set quite realistically in the present. One advantage of the 70’s setting is the possibility to use some hits songs from the period as part of the soundtrack. The film takes full advantage of this including songs by Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies, Deep Purple, Georgie Fame Dave and Ansell Collins as well a more current offering by Supergrass. The music is excellent and adds to the atmosphere of the film but is also worth having for itself. Overall the film is fun to watch, and will make you laugh. It never slides in to over sentimentality rose tinted nostalgia. My biggest problem with it was its lack of adventure in examining some of the themes it touched on. With the wonderful acting talent on show and the potential of the story I think it fails to achieve what other films of this genre such as 'My beautiful Laundrette' have done in the past. It's not that I don't enjoy simple comedies but I feel that after introducing an element of greater depth to the film an opportunity was missed. It is a good film but it could have been a much better more satisfying film. It is still worth watching though. Thank you for reading and rating this opinion. © Mauri 2002
I thought that the idea of a comedy film, was that it was meant to be funny, so I bought East is East, as it had some good reviews. But the only funny thing with the film was the fact that it wasn't funny! East is East is a film about an Asian family who own the local chippy, and have basically got different people living in the house, with totally different characteristics. The film takes you through the day to day life of the family, of which I thought was pretty pointless! There are only about two characters that stand out in the film, they are the youngest son, who always wheres his coat with his hood up, even indoors(Talk about copying kenny from Sout Park!)! And there is another one of the sons who supposably goes to business school, but doesn't and is doing art classes. Dont get me wrong, the film has its funny moments, although there are only two or three, but compared to rave reviews that you read in magazines, they seem to be totally untrue! Whoever wrote them must have been watching another film! What really got me was the fact that this DVD cost £19.99, and it didn't even have any decent special features, and concidering how new the film is, I expeced more. I dont buy the DVD's just for the features, but to have them extra is good to have, as you feel you get value for money! Im not normally one to be so critical about films, but I cant help but be, you might like it, but you must have a strange sense of humour!!!
A cross-cultural comedy about a British-Pakistani family coming to terms with both sides of their heritage in 1970s England.