East Is East

"Good"

East Is East Review


East is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet... or at least that is the saying. In East is East, the twain have met and married in 1946. The East, a Pakistani by the name of George Khan (Om Puri) came to England searching for work and met Ella (Linda Bassett). 25 years later, we watch as the Eastern influences of George's patriarchal dictatorship clash with the Western ideals that surround the family.

This sounds like a BBC Kitchen Sink Drama of the week or an early Mike Leigh TV-movie (in Leigh's pre-Naked days), and indeed would end up being just that if it weren't for the fact that East is East is delightfully funny. As the tragedy of a family being torn apart by Muslim upbringing clashing with Christian ideals, East is East journeys further into the realm of absolute absurdity.

This clash starts when George wishes his son Nazir (Ian Aspinsall) to marry a woman he has never met. He gives him a robe and a watch with his name in Arabic on it, expecting this to compensate for the loss, and when Nazir flees from the altar, George disowns him.

Not having realized what we do from the get go (that, in our Western perspective, arranged marriages really suck eggs), George betroths two more of his sons to girls that make Martha Stewart look beautiful. He tells his wife late at night, and one son accidentally overhears this, and the family disintegrates from there.

The main problem with East is East is that it cannot decide whether to be a comedy or a serious film. Almost constantly, it flip-flops between serious moments that maek you groan at how melodramatic they are and not-so-serious moments that allow you to laugh at the absurdity of a situation that is not absurd in the slightest. Rather than picking a particular side to go with, director Damien O'Donnell chooses to attempt to take both the high road and the low road, and ends up going nowhere.

In the end, East is East is much more comic that dramatic, if only because Damien O'Donnell and writer Ayu Khan-Din conspire to turn out a movie that is jam packed with ineffectual drama. To a culture such as either the American or the British, which has been saturated with how being Protestant is so much better than being Muslim (and who says that films don't display a religious preference), East is East is just the same old shtick with a few new jokes.

Hey, babies.



East Is East

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th April 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $28.2M

Budget: $3.8M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Film4, BBC, Assassin Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Damien O'Donnell

Producer:

Starring: as George Khan, as Ella Khan, Ian Aspinall as Nazir Khan, as Tariq Khan, as Meenah Khan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.