07 February 2011
The hugely popular comedy drama East is East did not seem like an obvious candidate for the sequel treatment. After all, it has been over a decade since audiences were first introduced to the Khan family and the film contained a satisfying ending that seemed to have concluded their story. However, West is West, set five years later, reunites most of the cast for what happily turns out to be a film just as warm, funny and thought provoking as its predecessor.
This look at Anglo-Pakistani relations – expertly written by Ayub Khan Din, as with the first film – concentrates on the stories of 13 year old Sajid (newcomer Aquib Khan, who bears a remarkable similarity to East is East’s original parka wearing Sajid) and his patriarchal father George (legendary Indian actor Om Puri).
After a bored, lonely and racially bullied Sajid begins truanting and shoplifting, George decides to try and instil some traditional values in him and takes him to Pakistan and the Punjab, to the family he abandoned for England 30 years before. Both Sajid and his father are forced to closely examine their lives and face some uncomfortable home truths.
West is West is a worthy sequel and in some ways shows a greater depth and sophistication than the earlier film. It is at least as funny – largely due to a great debut performance from the youngster Aquib Khan – and will delight and enthral audiences of all ages.
Robert W Monk
From Clash Magazine