Review: West Is West
This sequel to East Is East is set five years after the original and, if it had appeared at some point in that time frame, it would have had a shot. But it is now the best part of 12 years since we first met the Khan family.
To suddenly get back in touch after all that time and act like they've never been away is a bit much really.
Reactions to this new instalment may well depend on what it was you liked in the first one. If it was Jimi Mistry and all the 1970s period detail, you are bang out of luck.
Mistry turns up for one scene, while most of the film takes place in Pakistan rather than Salford. (I can't vouch for the accuracy or appeal of the Pakistani 1970s period detail.)
If, though, your favourite thing in the original was the parka-clad antics of young Sajid, you are sort of in luck. He is the focus of the new film but the part has been recast with aquib Khan taking over the role originated by Jordan Routledge.
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He does pretty well I think. Sajid is skipping school to avoid bullies, getting into trouble and is ashamed of his heritage. So his father George (Om Puri) decides that what he needs is a trip to Pakistan to see his family and discover his roots. this means meeting the wife that George abandoned 30 years earlier as well as trying to find a bride for his older brother Maneer (Emil Marwa).
A young man being sent back to Pakistan to be indoctrinated in how to be a good muslim is not an obvious scenario for a feelgood comedy. In fact, although there are some basic comic moments, West Is West is more poignant drama.
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West Is West (15)
Director: Andy De Emmory
With: Om Puri, Aquib Khan, Emil Marwa, Linda Bassett and Lesley Nicoli
Length: 103 mins