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West Is West (2010)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,121

My Rating

Movie Info

The dysfunctional and multi-cultural Khan family returns to the screen in this follow-up to the 1998 hit comedy East Is East. It's 1976 in Salford, England, and life, as always, is chaotic in the home of traditionally minded Pakistani immigrant George (Om Puri) and his working-class British wife Ella (Linda Bassett). Their 15-year-old son Sajid (Aqib Khan) is a target for racist bullies at school and has been picked up for shoplifting, so George decides to take him to Pakistan to learn something


Drama, Comedy

Ayub Khan-Din

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (7) | DVD (1)

It takes some getting used to, but be patient: Within the madness, there's definitely a method, and rewards for the reaping.

March 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With no culture-clash cliché left unplundered, Andy DeEmmony sets his camera to autopilot for a film which never decides who or what it's about.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although the comedy feels as broad as the Atlantic initially, once the main characters are transplanted to Pakistan things look up as the script begins to properly probe the emotional flaws of the characters rather than just opting for cheap laughs.

February 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Broad, evasive and oppressively feelgood in tone, an affair over which veils should be drawn.

February 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Not a perfect film but still entertaining in its own right.

February 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Once again, it is Puri's commanding presence that holds the film together, though as Sajid, young Aqib Khan has enough natural charm and confidence to make him an endearing scene-stealer.

February 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Ekes some gentle yuks out of culture clashes and father-son strife.

February 27, 2011 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

It amounts to an amiable enough way to kill a couple of hours, but that's about it.

February 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

It may avoid politics, but something is stirring beneath the fart jokes and biracial blunders.

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Perhaps it doesn't have the novelty of the first film, but it's refreshingly un-parochial, with charm and fun, and Bassett and Puri are reliably excellent.

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

West is West is full of delights: Peter Robertson's airy cinematography is casually gorgeous, the Hindi film songs on the soundtrack are delightful, and the acting consistently top-notch.

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph | Comment (1)
Daily Telegraph

By trying to do something different with the characters, the film omits much of the good-hearted yet slightly edgy laughter we enjoyed so much the first time round.

February 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The humour has broadened as surely as the vision and human authenticity have narrowed.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It's colourfully shot, with a few witty lines, and pretty watchable. It's just not as good as the original.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

Its heart is definitely in the right place. But there's more to comedy than funny accents. And daubing on Eastern profundities like lumpy henna won't cover the cracks.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

It raises and addresses that deep-seated desire engrained in of us all: the sense of belonging and need for identity, without which we fail to really understand ourselves.

February 22, 2011 Full Review Source:

Eleven years on but without a great deal more to add, DeEmmony's saga runs out of gas.

February 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A cross-cultural sequel that's as gently comical as the first was satirical. Despite lashings of Eastern promise, it's as British as a chip butty.

February 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

West Is West is something of a lightweight. Think of all that's happened since 1999. You wouldn't have guessed it from this.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Enjoyable, emotionally engaging sequel with a witty script and terrific performances from Om Puri and newcomer Aqib Khan, though it's let down by some erratic editing decisions.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for West Is West

I hated East is East so I had very little interest in seeing the sequel, I really didn't see the point in it at all and judging by the amount of people who did see it, I don't seem to be the only one. East is East was so over-hyped 'It's the next Full Monty' people said. But the Full Monty was shit and over-hyped as well, so actually it was quite a good description. Anyway, I watched this film when it was on TV and I couldn't have been more surprised. Gone were the tired cliched stereotypes, the stupid Dog and the whole 'Aren't we all so different but also, aren't we all the same' nonsense. This film focused on the reality of growing in a different culture but also being of that culture and the difficulties involved. The story is of young and old, the Father and the youngest son. It was brilliantly handled and unlike the first film the humour and seriousness of the issue are balanced perfectly. Recommended.
May 24, 2013

Super Reviewer

Very cookie cutter in its approach. You could take any sentimental film from the last twenty years, replicate all the poignant scenes and come up with a film like this. Feels forced. The characters are taking unbelievable leaps of faith.
October 24, 2012
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

For those who aren't aware of the original film, East Is East, released twelve years ago, was the story of the Anglo-Pakistani Khan family living in early 1970's Salford headed by father, George (Om Puri), and his wife, Ella (Linda Bassett) and George's attempts to ensure that his children live in a respectful Pakistani tradition including comedic minefields such as potential arranged marriages to women who were not blessed in the looks department and a youngest son who required a circumcision, along with more serious issues such as the eldest son being declared "dead" to the family because he left his bride at the altar (I don't want to reveal the reason why in case anybody hasn't seen the film).

Well, four years have passed for the Khan family and the only child living with George and Ella is the aforementioned youngest son, Sajid (Aqib Khan).

Due to the regular racist bullying he receives, Sajid regularly skips school which leads to him being caught shoplifting.

When Sajid says that the only home he knows is England and does not acknowledge, or is proud of, his Pakistani heritage. George decides to take Sajid to his original home in Pakistan - which includes issues such as meeting a family and first wife who he hasn't seen for thirty years and re-introducing themselves to one of George and Ella's sons, Maneer (Emil Marwa), who isn't able to get married because he isn't seen as a viable choice.

Whoever commissioned West Is West must have known that they were taking a gamble to do a sequel for such a small scale yet critical success over ten years later. This film pulls off the "difficult second album" in great style with help from all departments.

Ayub Khan-Din's screenplay is very much in the mould of the original film with the viewer able to laugh with the culture clash humour facing George and Sajid rather than at any stereotypes. The film feels more like a theatre performance rather than a film, which works to it's benefit as it allows the viewer to relax and be able to feel the emotions of the characters involved.

Andy De Emmony's direction along with the cinematography is first class. On the one hand, you get the dull browns and grey's that tend to dominate the colour pallet of a film representing England in the early to mid 70's. When the viewer arrives in Pakistan, you do get a sense of Sajid's visual emotions with it's beautiful tones and landscape.

The acting is also of a very high standard, particularly by Puri, Bassett and Marwa - who is involved in nicely written sub plot along with Aqib Khan regarding Sajid's quest to find Maneer a wife who is willing to marry him.

But the real star of this film is Aqib Khan in the role of Sajid. He has to portray a teenager who is not only undergoing puberty, but is also facing a crisis of identity as to whether he is English, Pakistani or facing a constant tug-of-war between two distinct traditions. He manages to pull off a very clever trick by making Sajid's dilemma thought provoking, sympathetic and funny and his partnership with Nadim Sawalha, who plays a local guru who tries to get Sajid to think for himself, is very touching.

Ultimately, West Is West is a film that is definitely "Book 2" of the Khan family album and that is the film's Achilles Heel. You need to have watched the first film to gain an understanding of the relationships within the Khan family and how these relationships inform the family members' behaviours.

That said, this film is equal to, and in some area surpasses the original - notably in George's character development and I have no problem with recommending this film.

So, I'll give this film 80% - I've knocked off 20% for the fact that it is pretty much essential that the viewer has to watch the original film rather than being a film that the viewer could comfortably watch in it's own right.
February 26, 2011
Theta Sigma
Theta Sigma

Super Reviewer

Intriguing sequel to 'East is East', this film follows teenager Sajid, George, Ella, and Maneer in the homelands of the Khan patriarch. With Annie (Ella's best friend) in tow, Ella finds the countryside an entirely different world and a whole different life that George had left behind. Getting to know the first wife, Ella realizes there is more to this side of the family with their troubles as much as there is to deal with her own. In the meantime, Sajid and Maneer are striving to keep the family together while also having a round of skirmishes of their own.
February 15, 2013
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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