Thursday, 28 April 2011

East is East

UK Release: 5th November 1999
Watched on TV: Wednesday 27th April 2011
Rating: 15
Runtime: 1hr 36mins
Tagline: A comedy with attitude about finding your way in a home with no latitude.
IMDb Plot Summary: In 1971 Salford fish-and-chip shop owner George Khan expects his family to follow his strict Pakistani Muslim ways. But his children, with an English mother and having been born and brought up in Britain, increasingly see themselves as British and start to reject their father's rules on dress, food, religion, and living in general.

A Quick Review: I don’t really know what to think about East is East. On the one hand it is funny with some great stand out-lines, but on the other it is a pretty dark and bleak story about a father who abuses his family and force them into arranged marriages. It was confusing and the ending felt unclear as to what sort of moral message an audience was supposed to take away. 
Ultimately it’s about identity - mostly the six or seven children’s as they have a Pakistani Muslim father and a British mother, growing up in the 1970’s, so it is bound to be hard for them. One brother who the film focuses on a lot is Tariq (played by Jimi Mistry) as he rebels against his father, snogging english girls in the street and sneaking out at night to disco clubs, where he is known as Tony. Oddly his english girlfriend’s best friend, who will never leave the couple alone is Ruth Jones, so that was funny to watch seeing how far she’s come. 
Overall I would say it is interesting to explore the confusion of identity for British Muslims, done in such a British way with good humour. I wouldn’t necessarily rush to see it again, but it is worth seeing. 
Score: 7/10

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