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West is West – movie review

Story about Asian families set in 1971 in England


West is West - movie review

West is West continues on from the 1999 hit film East is East which was the story about that family set in 1971 in England.

It is now 1976, in Salford, Manchester, England, and remaining members of the Khan family go through their on-going struggle of the elder family members deeply entrenched in traditionally Pakistani values. So it’s the old customs versus the youngsters who were born in Britain and have an upbringing amid the British culture. West is West movie review.

Sixty year old George Khan (Om Puri) who is the head of the family is still very much acting as the family dictator – enforcing his beliefs upon his family – much against the trend among the new generation. There are Tariq (Jimi Mistry), Auntie Annie (Leslay Nicole) and Maneer (Emil Marwa) in the family.

The protagonist is Sajid (Aqid Khan), the youngest of the children who is now a teenager, 13 year old to be precise. Sajid faces his father’s tyrannical insistence on Pakistani traditions at home and has to bear with fierce racist bullies in the school-yard. Isolated and bored, Sajid resorts to bunking school and shoplifting useless items to spice up his dull life.

So George Khan and Ella (Linda Bassett) decide to take Sajid to a trip to Pakistan to instill some much needed cultural discipline.

Sajid definitely is uncomfortable and feels very much out of place in Pakistan. In fact it is difficult for him to fit in.

George is in for a pleasant surprise when he meets his first wife Basheera Khan (Ila Arun) and the daughters he had abandoned 30 years ago when he left for England.

The tables are turned. Instead of teaching Sajid a lesson, George comes face to face with his own misdemeanors, and realizes that it is he himself who has much to learn. There is a drastic change in George and so he decides to make up for some of his shortcomings. He builds the house and bonds with some old friends.

Happiness is short lived for George as his second wife Ella and Auntie Annie come to visit the native place and this puts George in a mess. It is when Ella Khan the wife back in England, who comes with her Aunt comes over and sorts out the mess, past and present.

There are some interesting moments between Ella Khan and Basheera Khan (George’s second and first wife) in West is West. The first one speaks only Punjabi and the other one only in English. What is interesting is that rather than conveying through their speech, both the wives express a lot through emotion and body language.

West is West has excellent performances from Aqib Khan and the experienced Om Puri. Linda Basset and Ila Arun as the wives do justify their parts in this enjoyable and moving story which is a sequel to East is East.

Cast of West is West:
Aqib Khan – Sajid Khan
Om Puri – George / Jahangir Khan
Linda Bassett – Ella Khan
Robert Pugh – Mr. Jordan
Thomas Russell – Hughsy (Bully)
Jimi Mistry – Tariq Khan
Vanessa Hehir – Esther
Yograj Singh – Customs Official
Vijay Raaz – Tanvir
Raj Bhansali – Zaid
Dhanalaxmi Padmakumar – Raushana Khan
Sheeba Chaddha – Rehana Khan
Ila Arun – Basheera Khan
Emil Marwa – Maneer Kahn
Nadim Sawalha – Pir Naseem
Kamal Arora – Master Eyaz
Kalra Chander – Abdullah
Zita Sattar – Neelam Haqq
Sujata Kumar – Mrs. Haqq

Credits & Crew of West is West:
Produced by Leslee Udwin
Directed by Andy De Emmony
Screenplay writer – Ayub Khan-Din
Executive Producers – Shaana Diya, Kim Romer, Jane Wright, Caroline Levy, Harish Amin
Original Music – Robert Lane
Music – Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Cinematography – Peter Robertson
Film Editing – Jon Gregory, Stephen O’Connell
Casting – Anji Carroll
Production Design – Tom Conroy, Aradhana Seth
Art Direction – Shital Kanvinde, Pradip Redij, Katie Tuxford
Costume Design – Louise Stjernsward
Makeup Department – Penny Smith …. makeup designer
Production Managers- Deepak Gawade, Pramod Singh, Ciara McGowan, Michael Saxton
Assistant Directors – Tess Joseph, Sam Dawking, Matthew Baker, Hisham Chotani
Art Department – Aashrita Kamath, Tara Lal
West is West – movie review